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August 13, 2007 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-08-13

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The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2007 29

Former Varsity players
reminisce about coach

By AMBER COLVIN
Daily Sports Writer
Nov.18, 2006 -Everyone who wore
the winged helmet for Bo Schem-
bechler can drum up a favorite story
of the legendary leader.
For 1981 All-American offensive
tackle Ed Muransky, it was jim-
mying the locker room scale so he
and a teammate could always make
weight, only for Schembechler to
reveal the night before the Ohio
State game that he had been on to
them all along.
As Muransky recalls it, Schem-
bechler came to their room that
night and said, "Do you fat-asses
really think that I thought you
weighed 284 pounds the entire
year? Go kick some ass tomorrow."
University Regent David Bran-
don, who captained the team in the
early 1970s, first met Schembechler
as a high school senior. Brandon
arrived at the coach's home to find
the legend dressed for the occasion
- in a bathrobe and slippers.

Rousing pregame pep talks.
Strange practice antics (inflatable
baseball bats, anyone?). An intense
pride for the Maize and Blue.
Schembechler had a special style
of coaching that his players never
forget.
"Bo was intense to the point of
frightening at times," Brandon said.
"Those intense hours of practices
were not fun, but they always made
us better.You could hate him during
the time you were out there on the
practice field, but by the time prac-
tice was over for five minutes, he
would come up to you, put his arm
around you and tell you he appreci-
ated what you had done, and then
you'd realize, geez, we're really
lucky. We're out here playing for a
legend."
Former Wolverine safety Jim
Betts couldn't settle on one trait to
describe Schembechler.
"He was crazy," Betts said. "He
was compassionate. He was sensi-
tive. He was hard-nosed - he was a
little bit of everything."

More than a coach, Schembechler
also played the role of teacher to his
pack of Wolverines. Many players
recall how the coach didn't just pre-
pare them for the upcoming games,
but for life after football, too.
During his 21 seasons at the helm
of Michigan football, Schembechler
groomed 117 NFL draft picks, 38
first-team All Americans and 92
first-team All-Big Ten players.
"He was always about creating a
better future," said Fritz Seyfirth,
a member of the team in the early
'70s and a former associate athletic
director. "I truly respectthe man for
the caring attitude he had towards
all of the kids on the football team.
All of us who ever played for him
look at him with such admiration.
He would do anything for any of us
at any time."
Even those who didn't have the
opportunity to suit up for the pro-
gram's winningest coach felt the
impact of his work. It wasn't hard,
considering Schembechler was a
constant presence at practice and

Bo Schembechler had a major impact on every player he coached during his
illustrious tenure at Michigan.
at meetings. the high times when I finished off
John Navarre, Michigan's start- my senior year," Navarre said. "He
ing quarterback from 2001 to 2003, always had coaching advice for me,
saw Schembechler in a team setting talked to me and assessed my play,
and in a personal setting. told me what I needed to do better,
"I met with him a number of told me what I was doing well. We
times one-on-one, during the down had a good relationship like that. I
times when I was a sophomore and respected everything he told me."

i~1

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