The Michigan Daily
GERALD FORD I 1913-2006
- 7 anuu u q- 4 F
Legendary coach Bo SchembethIer wit
and went to 17 bowl games. He was per
1969 with an upset of a Buckeye team l
and MATT SINGER
Daily Staff Reporters
Bo Schembechler, the football
coach who grew to embody the
ideal of the Michigan man, died
yesterday. He was 77.
Before retiring in 1989, he
became the all-time winningest
coach in Michigan football history.
In 21 years as head coach, Schem-
bechler won 13 Big Ten titles, went
to 10 Rose Bowls and compiled a
He collapsed yesterday morn-
ing in the studio of WXYZ-TV in
Southfield while taping a show. He
was pronounced dead from heart
failure at Providence Hospital at
In the 10 years before he
became head coach in 1969,
Michigan's football team had
won barely half of its games.
From the beginning, Schem-
bechler brought a new fire to the
The night before the Rose
Schembechler suffered his first
heart attack. He received peri-
odic updates in his hospital bed
about the game, which Michigan
lostto Southern California.
Schembechler stood on the
sidelines in silence during prac-
tice the next spring. His doctors
wouldn't lethim coach.
One afternoon, Jim Betts,
a second-string quarterback,
threw a pass to halfback Tommy
Darden's eyes locked onto
MBECHLER 1 1929-2006
COURTESY OF STEVE KAGAN
h his 1976 Michigan squad. In his 21 years as head coach, he won 194 games
haps most famous for his annual battles with Ohio State, which he kicked off in
ed by his former mentor, Woody Hayes.
'd coach dead at 77
University's most famous alum
never forgot his roots
By ANDREW GROSSMAN
University alum and former
President Gerald Ford, who
sought to restore trust in the
presidency in the aftermath of
one of the most scandal-ridden
administrations in American his-
tory, died at his home in Rancho
Mirage, Calif. on Dec. 26. He was
When asked in 1995 what his
greatest accomplishment was as
president, Ford said it was "heal-
AndhealAmericahe did. Ford's
honest Midwestern demeanor
calmed a nation beset by a deep
unease after the traumas of Viet-
nam and Watergate.
Ford was never elected to the
presidency or vice presidency.
In 1973, then-President Richard
Nixon appointed then-Congress-
man Ford to take the place of
Vice President Spiro Agnew after
bribery charges forced Agnew to
His presidency will be remem-
bered most for a single act - the
decision to grant Nixon an uncon-
ditional pardon for all crimes he
committed while president. The
pardon sparked a national outcry
and sent Ford's approval ratings
plummeting. It likely cost him the
1976 election to Jimmy Carter.
Now, the pardon has come to
be viewed as necessary to pre-
vent the nation from having to
see a former president in court
Ford graduated from the Uni-
versity in1935 with a double major
in economics and political sci-
ence. He played center on a foot-
ball team that won two national
championships. Ford was named
the team's most valuable player in
1934. The University retired his
jersey, number 48, in 1994.
He came to Ann Arbor in the
middle of the Great Depression
from his boyhood home in Grand
Rapids with a $100 scholarship
to cover tuition and $100 he had
earned working in a paint factory.
His football coach, Harry Kipke,
helped him find jobs washing
dishes and waiting tables at the
In his autobiography "A Time
to Heal" he wrote that a "wonder-
ful" aunt and uncle sent him $2
each week. He also donated blood
every two or three months, earn-
ing $25 each time.
One of the places where Ford
washed dishes was his frater-
nity, Delta Kappa Epsilon, where
he worked to pay his room and
In the spring of his sophomore
year, Ford was slated to have
surgery to repair a knee he had
injured playing football. But the
night before the operation, Ford
and a friend went to the now-
defunct Spanish Club and "spent
hours drinking tequila and smok-
ing long cigars," he wrote. "I
woke up the next morning with
probably the worst hangover I
He wrote that when he showed
up at the hospital, the doctors and
nurses looked at him and decided
to postpone the operation.
It was Ford's first experience
Ford was also a member of
Michigamua, the elite senior
society. He would continue to
participate in the society as an
alum, even during and after his
Ford turned down offers to
play for the Green Bay Packers
and the Detroit Lions after grad-
uation. Instead, he headed east to
Yale University, where he was an
assistant football coach and stu-
dent at the law school.
After serving in the Navy dur-
ing World War II, Ford returned
to Grand Rapids and opened a law
firm. He was elected to Congress
from Michigan's 5th District in
1948, a seat he held until assum-
ing the vice presidency.
Ford remained close to the
University throughout his life.
He spoke at the University's
commencement ceremony in
May 1974 and kicked off his re-
election campaign in September
1976 in front of a crowd of more
than 15,000 at Crisler Arena. He
returned to Ann Arbor to speak at
forums and conferences through-
out his retirement.
Since 1977, Ford has held the
title of adjunct political science
professor. Ford's presidential
library is located on North Cam-
pus, and the University's Gerald
R. Ford School of Public Policy is
named for him.
"The Ford School community
has been enriched by our con-
nections with President Ford,"
said Rebecca Blank, the school's
dean. "His visits here helped our
students learn about the com-
plexities of policymaking and
understand the role of politics in
our society. President Ford's com-
mitment to public service was a
hallmark of his entire career."
University President Mary Sue
Coleman lauded Ford's contribu-
tions to the campus community.
"I am deeply saddened by his
death but grateful for his many
years of inspiration to his Uni-
versity," Coleman said in a writ-
ten statement. "I have had the
great privilege of knowing both
President Ford and Mrs. Ford.
An ardent Michigan football fan,
President Ford was equally pas-
sionate about interacting with
students on issues of public policy
and world affairs."
Coleman named her two cats
Betty and Jerry after Ford and
Coleman also noted Ford's sup-
port for the University's use of
affirmative action in its admis-
Ford published an op-ed piece
in The New York Times in 1999
condemning two lawsuits filed
against the University that chal-
lenged its use of affirmative
"At its core, affirmative action
should try to offset past injustices
by fashioning a campus popula-
tion more truly reflective of mod-
ern America and our hopes for
the future," Ford wrote.
Ford's stance on affirmative
action was indicative of his mod-
erate Republican leanings. Both
he and his wife, Betty Ford, were
supporters of abortion rights. In
1976, Ford faced a primary chal-
lenge from the more conservative
Ford did not attend a single
social event at the White House
during Reagan's eight years in
He survived two assassination
attempts in September 1975.
It was Ford who presided over
the removal of the last American
troops from Vietnam in April
1975. After the fall of Saigon,
Ford called on Americans to put
the nation's first real military
defeat behind them.
"I ask that we stop refighting
the battles and the recrimina-
tions of the past," he said in a
speech at Tulane University. "I
ask that we look now at what is
right with America, at our possi-
bilities and our potentialities for
change and growth and achieve-
ment and sharing. I ask that we
accept the responsibilities of
leadership as a good neighbor
to all peoples and the enemy of
Ford echoed Abraham Lin-
coln's second inaugural address,
saying "the time has come to
look forward to an agenda for the
future, to unify, to bind up the
nation's wounds, and to restore
its health and its optimistic self-
Ford is survived by his wife
Betty, his daughter Susan and his
sons Michael, John and Steven.
Plans for a memorial .at the
University have not yet been
This article originally
ran on Jan. 4, 2007.
the ball, and he ran to catch it. But
Schembechler stood in his way.
Darden crashed into the weakened
coach and knocked him uncon-
scious on the field.
A trainer ran to revive him with
When Schembechler came to, he
stood up, looked at the crowd that
had gathered and repeated one of
his favorite phrases.
have killed an ordinary man."
Schembechler was no ordinary
Those who knewhim consistently
described himwith one word:gruff.
Below that prickly exterior, they
said, was one of the most compas-
sionate men they had ever met.
people and he always saw their
potential," said author John Bacon,
a professor ofAmerican culture and
history who has been collaborating
with Schembechler on a book.
Glenn E. Schembechler was born
on April 1, 1929 in Barberton, Ohio.
He got the name Bo from his sister,
who couldn't pronounce the word
"brother." It was his mother who
instilled a love of sports in him,
As a seventh and eighth grader,
he suited up for his town's high
school football team because his
grade school didn't have a squad.
Years later, Schembechler would
come home after Michigan games
to face the only critic he listened to:
See SCHEMBECHLER, Page5C
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