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Maybe A.D. Bill Martin should have taken the Asst. Coaches to Colonial Lanes

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In December, 1968, A.D. Don Canham hired Bo Schembechler from Miami University to become the 15th Head Coach in the history of Michigan football.  Bo insisted that he be allowed to bring along his own staff.  Bo brought six assistant coaches with him from Miami University (i.e., Jerry Hanlon, Gary Moeller, Jim Young, Chuck Stobart, Dick Hunter and Larry Smith).  Coach Schembechler did retain George Mans and Frank Maloney from the previous year's staff and Bo brought in one assistant (Louie Lee) from the outside.. As legend has it, in late-January of 1969, AD Don Canham invited the six assistant coaches from Miami to Colonial Lanes for a drink. (1) Colonial Lanes was owned by Bob Ufer (2) and had a tavern called the Pin Room where Canham allegedly liked to conduct business. On this day, Canham informed the six assistants matter-of-factly that he had not wanted to hire them but Bo had forced his hand and that they would be fired immediately if they did not win. (3) Canham included. (4).  The 1969 Wolverines, of course, beat #1 ranked OSU, won the Big 10 title, and advanced to the Rose Bowl Game.  Thus, everyone's job was safe and the Wolverines went on to many successful seasons thereafter.

Fast forward to the present.  A.D. Bill Martin hired Rich Rodriguez from West Virginia University to become the 18th Head Coach in the history of Michigan football.  Rich Rod brought along his own staff.  Coach Rod brought six assistant coaches with him from West Virginia University (i.e., Calvin Magee, Tony Dews, Greg Frey, Tony Gibson, Rod Smith, and Bruce Tall).  Coach Rod retained one coach (Fred Jackson) from the previous year's staff and he brought in two coaches (Scott Shafer and Jay Hopson) from the outside.  A.D. Martin, like Canham before him, should have held a meeting with the assistant coaches informing them they would all be out of a job if the team did not win.  The 2008 Wolverines are now 2-4 after suffering a 13-10 defeat at the hands of MAC team Toledo.  Go Blue!


1-"Tales from Michigan Stadium"- (p. 172-173) by Jim Brandstatter published 2002 by Sports Publishing LLC.

2-" War as They Knew It"- (p. 4) by Michael Roseberg published 2008 by Grand Central Publishing.

3- "Tales From Michigan Stadium"

4- "War as They Knew It"