Departing University of Michigan athletic director Bill Martin told the Detroit Free Press that embattled coach Rich Rodriguez will return to the Wolverines next season.
"He will be our coach next year," Martin told the paper after Saturday's season-ending 21-10 loss to Ohio State. "You're asking me today if he's going to be our coach, there's no if, ands or buts about it. He is our coach and he has my full support. He'll be there next year. No question about it."
The Wolverines are 8-16 (3-13 in the Big Ten) in two seasons under Rodriguez. They finished last in the Big Ten this season for the first time since 1962. But Martin, who plans to retire in September 2010, indicated to the Free Press the university is standing behind its coach.
"Rich Rodriguez is our coach, I and the administration fully support him and you'll see him in the future," Martin told the paper.
Saturday's remarks came one day after Free Press reported Rodriguez, in an appearance on columnist Mitch Albom's radio show, expressed no plans to step down.
The Wolverines' loss on Saturday made Rodriguez the first coach in program history to lose his first two meetings against Ohio State.