HR Strange But True!
March 13, 2008

Sure you have slogged through a pile of résumés and cover letters. But did you ever get one that said that the applicant "would work for any conditions you wish to provide"? West Virginia University President Mike Garrison got this "serious offer asking for his consideration" of the candidate for his college's head football coach opening, paying a reported $1.8 million per year. And the applicant, who said he had "a dedicated football mind," guaranteed lots of new plays--and publicity. Despite those positive attributes, Garrison had to send a rejection letter, because the applicant is 12 years old!

Joshua Irizarry, a seventh grader, four-sport athlete, and ESPN fan from Southington, Connecticut, heard about the job opening on the channel when Rich Rodriguez left to coach at Michigan. Josh was nursing a broken ankle and asked his mother if he could apply, the Associated Press reports. Despite being from UCONN country, Josh tells the news agency that he always favored the Mountaineers in the Big East Conference, and he thought he had some new plays "to fool the defenses."

His mother thought that writing the cover letter would be a productive activity during his convalescence, but cautioned Josh that the his résumé had a few drawbacks; he'd have to live in Morgantown, he didn't drive, and he wasn't a grown up, the AP reports. Josh was so eager to work around these problems that his mom told him to go ahead and apply, but cautioned him to keep things in perspective and not be disappointed if he didn't get a reply.

Garrison, however, said that Josh's letter "was one of the best I received ... the lawyer side of me appreciated his arguments ... and the father side of me recognized a young man with a lot of determination and ambition." Garrison said Josh "had the courage to write and deserved a response."

So Josh received a letter acknowledging his football knowledge and experience, but saying that "an equally qualified candidate" was being considered to fill the position. However, he also received a team picture and an autographed photo of his favorite Mountaineer, Noel Devine, from Garrison.

If Joshua had gotten the job and had stayed as long at WVU as Rodriguez--7 years--he'd be old enough to attend WVU. But he says he still aspires to go there anyway and play football, go to the NFL, and eventually apply for real for the coaching position.

Well, if Rodriquez's salary increased 70 percent in 7 years, as reported by, just think of the salary he'll be asking for then!

Sources: Associated Press and ESPN

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