2B - September 19, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
2B -Sepembr19,201 Th Mihiga Daly micigadaiyco
Hart's long road back to Michigan
starts just up the road
n one of those miserable
days, Mike Hart decided
he didn't want to carry
the football anymore.
After his rookie year, the
thought started creeping into
his mind. Then, the Indianapolis
Colts made the Super Bowl and
the doubt was
"Part of it
was I wasn't
said. "It TIM
wasn't as fun. ROHAN
mean, I enjoyed it when I played,
but at the same time, I didn't look
forward to going to work every
day. I never wanted to look at
football like that."
He even started to doubt
whether he wanted to become a
coach - which had always been
"That's when I knew it was
time for me to get away from
this," he said.
The decision, ultimately, was
made for him. After he rushed
for 264 yards in three seasons,
the Colts declined to offer him a
contract asa restricted free agent
He spent his down time work-
ing out as if he'd get another shot.
Hart thought he'd be picked up
before training camp, once the
NFL's lockout was over. But did
he want to keep playing?
When no one signed him, he
had already decided he wasn't
going to wait.
"I knew that I always wanted
to be a coach," he said.
So Ron English's newest qual-
ity control assistant looked on,
high above the field where he ran
for most of his 5,040 yards, from
his spot in the press box, helping
his newteamtry and topple Goli-
ath, his alma mater.
Michigan won, 31-3, and Hart
didn't sing "The Victors."
His team didn't win.
"I'm committed to this team,"
Hart said during the week lead-
ing up to the Michigan-Eastern
Michigan game. "This is who I
am. I am Eastern Michigan. I'm
a coach at Eastern Michigan. I
want Eastern Michigan to win
"I don't cheer for Michigan to
win anymore. I watch the game
Former Michigan running back Mike Hart now works as a quality control coach at Eastern Michigan.
as a coach." a head coach comes with a lot
At least he sounds likea coach. of responsibilities, and I really
And like Hart's doubtlingered wouldn't want to be a head coach.
about his own playing career, "It's just one of those things, in
some have started a countdown the next couple of years, I'll fig-
for a return to Michigan. ure out what I want to do. I might
Just four months ago he was just wantto be a running backs
standing on the sidelines at the coach."
spring game, singing Brady Here are the facts: Michigan's
Hoke's praises. current running backs coach
Michigan's all-time leading Fred Jackson is 61 years old. He's
rusher will eventually coach coaching with two good friends
Michigan running backs to break - Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison
his own record at a place he loves. - that respect him and let him do
For now, he's an Eagle, start- his job. He's in no hurry to leave,
ing at the same school Lloyd Carr buthe won't coach forever.
and Tyrone Wheatley began It's not that hard to imagine
their coaching careers - seven Jackson coaching another five
miles away from the Big House at years or so - maybe fewer -
Eastern Michigan, a school that before decidingto hang it up,
fell to 4-23 on Saturday in three let one of the backs he coached
years under English. take his seat atop the Michigan
What a humble beginning. running back throne. But he's
His days begin at 7:15 in the coached a lot of legendary run-
morning. And he doesn't leave ning backs in the past 20 years.
until after 10 p.m. As a player, Hart could be the one.
he hated practice. Now he loves He just has one Tyrone
it, because all of his time spent Wheatley standing in his way.
watching film and preparing gets "(Wheatley) was a player who
put to use. always wanted to know the whys
After those long days, he of how things worked. 'How do
returns to the new home his wife we attack this defense? Why is
and child have made in Michi- that defense doing this?' "Jack-
gan, one he says he'll have for "a son told MLive.com in 2009,
while." That begs the question: when Wheatley started coaching
It makes sense to us, but is Hart's running backs at Eastern Michi-
ultimate goal to coach at Michi- gan under English.
gan? "In all my years, (Wheatley)
"It's to just become a great and Michael Hart are the two
coach, no matter where it is," guys I spent the most time with
Hart said. "Whether it's at East- on the field and off the field, and
ern Michigan, no matter where it that made the difference in what
is, I want to be a great coach. It's they did as players. Those are
one of those things I'm goingto the types of players who become
find out the next couple of years coaches."
what I want to do. I think being Since the 2010 season, Wheat-
ley (who is from Michigan) has
coached Syracuse's running
backs. He immediately inherited
a senior running back named
Delone Carter, who rushed for
1,233 yards and who was a fourth
round pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
Carter's backup that season,
Antwon Bailey, is now the lead
back. Now Wheatley has his
first bigtest - turning a career
backup into a star, on a bigstage.
But keep in mind, Wheatley
hasn't said outright he wants
Jackson's job either. And he has
said he has goals of becoming
a head coach some day. So if
Wheatley is Jackson's successor,
it may not be for long.
Hart's still only 25. He still has
time, and he's lucky he's out of
the league with good health.
And when he does come back,
the Michigan community will
welcome him with open arms -
damn what he did in the NFL or
at any other coachingstop before
then - because the 5-foot-9 run-
ning back-that-could is one of
those beloved Michigan figures,
like Carr has become.
"I have a lot of respect for
Mike and what he did for Michi-
gan," Hoke said. "He's a good
man. I like the heck out of him."
Like him enough to give him a
"I think all of those guys are
always welcome back," Hoke
Hart may just have to wait his
-Rohan can be reached
Pair of overtime
miscues doom 'M'
By DANIEL WASSERMAN outside the box with less than
Daily Sports Writer 30 seconds remaining, sending
the game into double overtime.
When the Michigan soccer "We create chances, we hit
complex opened lastyear, it had the post, and I have confidence
almost everything the men's that once the ball bounces our
soccerteam could ask for. But if way a few times, we'll build
the Wolverines continue to play leads on teams and keep leads
as they have in the past week, and win games," Shaw said.
they may want to consider add- The Wolverines didn't let up
ing an overtime indicator to the in the second overtime despite
scoreboard. their fatigue from a grueling
In its last four games, Michi- schedule. The team has played
gan (2-6-1 overall) has played five games in the last 10 days,
in three including the three overtime
overtime MICHIGAN 1 games.
matches NOTRE DAME 2 Michigan outshot the Golden
- losing Eagles 4-1 in the final frame,
two of including a strike from inside
t MARQUETTE 2
them this MICHIGAN 1 the box from sophomore mid-
weekend. fielder Fabio Villa Boas Pereira,
On producing a game-saving div-
Friday, the Wolverines fell to ing stop from goaltender David
Notre Dame, 2-1, in the opening Check.
minute of the extra period. On "This was a game where,
Sunday, Michigan lost another when you look at the chances we
2-1 heartbreaker, this time to both had inside the box, danger-
Marquette in the final minute of ous chances, we certainly had a
double overtime. lot more and should've come out
"It'll be a character check a lot better on the score line in
and a gut check for our team," this one," Burns said.
Michigan coach Steve Burns Two minutes later, Check
said. "We took a shot in the gut punted aball that traveled
against Notre Dame and the nearly the length of the field. It
same held true against Mar- then bounced over the heads of
quette." a few Wolverine defenders and
The Wolverines jumped out Marquette's Kelmand Islami
to a quick lead over the Golden beat a charging Grinwis to it,
Eagles thanks to the foot of poking it in with 53 seconds left
fifth-year senior midfielder to send Michigan home empty-
Adam Shaw. It was the captain's handed again.
first career goal in his 63rd "As hard as it is, I think what
career match. you have to tell them is to think
Michigan played stifling about the game and think about
defense for much of the first what they could've done better
half, and Marquette (2-4-1) and then shift focus to the next
struggled to find solid scor- game," Shaw said. "What's done
ing opportunities. The Golden is done in this game, we just
Eagles picked up momentum in need to learn from the mistakes
the second half and finally broke we made and focus on our Big
through with the equalizer in Ten season."
the 73rd minute. On Friday, junior midfielder
Redshirt freshman goalie Latif Alashe scored his firstgoal
Adam Grinwis blocked a free of the season to put the Wolver-
kick from Marquette but ines on the board just 39 seconds
couldn't hang on to the ball, into the game.
which squirted right to an open The 16th-ranked Fighting
James Nortey, who easily scored Irish (4-1-2) evened the score
on the empty net. The teams before halftime. Notre Dame
traded chances in the final min- then outshot the Wolverines,
utes of regulation, but neither 15-7, in the second half, but
team could capitalize, forcing Grinwis kept Michigan's upset
extra time. bid alive.
Michigan controlled much of Just a minute into overtime,
the first overtime but couldn't the Fighting Irish's Adam Mena
cash in any of its three shots on headed a crossing pass into the
goal. Marquette saw a header top-left corner of net for his sec-
hit the post in the period's final ond goal of the game and Notre
minutes and the Wolverines Dame's eighth win against the
couldn't net a free kick from just Wolverines in 11 chances.
WOMEN'S sba snR
Blue blanks Indiana
Wolverines dominate the field at
in one-goal victory the Michigan Adidas Invitational
Zadorsky records cross from sophomore forward
first tally of But Murphy was called off-
her career Freshman midfielder Chris-
. lu vitina Murillo dribbled the ball
Sy through an entire onslaught of
Indiana defenders, but her shot
By CARLY BODDY was blocked on a jumping save
Daily Sports Writer by the Hoosiers' goalkeeper.
Kopmeyer made seven saves
BLOOMINGTON -The in the game and defended nine
Michigan women's soccer team corner kicks in the second half,
has lost its conference opener leading the Wolverines to a win
for six years running. over Indiana.
But after a fantastic perfor- "Right after we scored, they
mance from junior goalkeeper had four corner kicks in a row,"
Haley Kop- Kopmeyer said. "We gave them
meyer and MICHIGAN 1 a lot of really good opportuni-
a goal from INDIANA 0 ties to score."
an unex- Michigan put 11 shots on goal
pected source, the Wolverines - one short of Indiana's total.
reversed a streak that began in Still, the Hoosiers came up
2005. scoreless, and the Wolverines
Michigan (6-2-1) traveled to returned home with a 1-0 win.
Bloomington to face Indiana in The Wolverines will play
its Big Ten opener. several conference games next,
Sophomore defender She- but this time with the type of
lina Zadorksy scored off the momentum they haven't had in
crossbar, making her the ninth quite some time.
Wolverine to score a goal this "These Big Ten games are
season. always so tight," Michigan
"It couldn't have been better," coach Greg Ryan said. "They're
Zadorksy said. "I saw the space usually a one-goal win, one-goal
I had and nobody was on me. I loss or tie.
took two touches, noticed the "To come down to Indiana
goalie was off her line and went and win on their home field
for it." really gives us some confidence
The goal - lobbed from 25 going forward."
yards out - was the first of The Wolverines will try and
Zadorsky's career. ride their momentum into their
Early in the first half, sopho- second conference game this
more midfielder Shelby Murphy Friday, where they will return
had a chance on goal after a home to face Minnesota.
By MATT SPELICH
Daily Sports Writer
In the third and final set of
a match against Texas A&M,
senior middle blocker Court-
ney Fletcher called for the ball.
Freshman setter Lexi Dannemi-
ller delivered it right up the
middle. Fletcher swung, but was
blocked by a pair of high-flying
Redshirt junior Claire McEl-
heny dug the careening ball back
to Dannemiller. Fletcher, look-
ing for redemption, screamed
the ball. TtXAS A&M 0
Dannemi- MICHIGAN 3
perfect TOLE 1
one, and TOLtO 1
Fletcher MICHIGAN 3
the ball XAVIER 1
straight MICHIGAN 3
hardwood. A cool, indelible
smile spread across her face - it
was a recognition of the pow-
erful force that Michigan had
tapped into; its unbridled con-
Michigan (12-0) beat Texas
A&M (10-2) in three sets. On
Friday, the Wolverines defeated
Toledo (5-7) and Xavier (7-5)
in four sets, earning them the
It has been said that con-
fidence does not come from
always being right but from not
fearingto be wrong. Fletcher's
self-confidence exuded most
when she found a way to get her
kill in spite of everything else.
"As a senior I know I'm going
to get blocked sometimes,"
Fletcher said. "Volleyball is a
game of mistakes. So if I make a
mistake, I refuse to let it deflate
me and make me lose confi-
dence. If I get blocked I want
to go out and get another kill.
Dannemiller's been working on
going back to hitters, and I've
been working on going after the
ball strong every time, and that
time it worked."
Michigan stuck to what
it does best - spreading its
offense, servingstrong and stay-
ing composed under pressure
- but this weekend the added
confidence yielded some unex-
Sophomore outside hitter
Lexi Erwin had the first kill of
the tournament, the very last
kill and nearly every other one
in between. Against Toledo,
Erwin earned her career-high
of 17 kills. This was not unex-
Michigan coach Mark Rosen
said that Toledo had scouted
McElheny as a threat and chose
to lock her down at the expense
of leaving Erwin open. Erwin
took advantage of the situation,
but that is something every
member of the squad is capable
of doing under the right circum-
stances. But then Erwin did it
Senior middle blocker Courtney Fletcher showed her fire this weekend.
She earned a new career-high The fact that Michigan is
18 kills against Xavier and was tacking "confidence" onto their
the only player to reach double- long list of strengths right
digit kills against Texas A&M. before the start of conference
The performance brought her play is no accident. Rosen has
the tournament's most valuable been preaching this message to
player award. his players all preseason.
Erwin chalked up the kills to "The thing we talk about
her newfound confidence. the most with our players is to
"Leading up to the tourna- trust themselves," Rosen said.
ment I was having some self- "I thought this weekend, what
confidence problems," Erwin Erwin did, was when she com-
said. "But then I spoke to mitted to a shot, she really went
(Michigan director of athletic after it. I thought before she was
counseling) Greg Harden and he a bit tentative and was second-
reminded me that I have done guessing herself. We believe
this kind of stuff in practice a that even if you make the wrong
thousand times before and that choice, butyou commit to it,
I just have to forget about every- things tend to work out in your
thing else when I'm out there. It favor. But if you're unsure, it
all came together this weekend." rarely works out in your favor."