“No man is more important than the Team. No coach is more important than the Team. The Team, the Team, the Team.”
This was a part of one of the greatest locker room speeches ever given in college football by legendary Michigan head football coach Bo Schembechler.
In honor of last weeks unveiling of the new statue of Bo that sits in front of the newly remodeled Schembechler Hall
, this first TBHR Throwback Thursday Series piece is dedicated to the late Bo Schembechler.
Born Glenn Edward Schembechler in 1929 in Barberton, Ohio, he would be known throughout the college football world as Bo. He was given that nickname by his sister when they were kids because she could not say brother, so she called him Bo.
Bo played college football at Miami University in Ohio as a offensive lineman and would end up being the head coach of his alma mater from 1963-1969. Then after a 15 minute impressive interview with the University of Michigan
in 1969, he became the Wolverines 15th head football coach.
He made quite an impact during his first year. Some say his greatest victory would come that year against the defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes. OSU was a heavy favorite to win with coach Woody Hayes, but Coach Bo would get the victory 24-12. Then these two coaches entered into a fierce Ten Year War that elevated their rivalry to a new level. At the end Bo was victorious with a 5-4-1 record against the team that he loved to beat the most. At the conclusion of his first season Bo would be the national coach of the year.
Coach was also given credit for renewing the rivalry with the University of Notre Dame. Bo’s teams were well known for their fundamental, physical style of football. He always had a dominant offensive line, a power running game, a big strong tight end, and a strong defense. Over his coaching career at Michigan he compiled a record of 194-48-5 with 13 Big Ten conference titles, and 10 Rose bowl appearances. He had a .796 winning percentage and never had a losing season. In fact all of his players that stayed their four years had at least one Big Ten championship because of the inspiring speech that he would give his players. He promised them “Those who stay will be champions”.
In 1989 he stepped down as head coach and continued to be the athletic director for the next 2 years. It was his intensity, integrity, fierce competitive nature and the way he could inspire his players through powerful locker room speeches that helped get elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993. Then on the eve of the 2006 OSU-Michigan football game, Coach Bo Schembechler passed away.
I could not think of a better Michigan Man to kick off the TBHR Throwback Thursday Series!