The Michigan Wolverines are considered one of college football’s iconic programs and have no shortage of star coaches and players over the years. ESPN this week put together its top 150 coaches in the history of college football to commemorate the 150th season of the spot, where five former leaders came in.
The highest on the list was Fielding Yost at No. 18. Leading the charge at the top of the list was Bear Bryant at No. 1 and Nick Saban of Alabama, Michigan’s 2020 Citrus Bowl opponent, at No. 2.
No. 18: Fielding Yost
Yost made Michigan into “champions of the West,” just like the song says. His Wolverines won 10 Western (Big Ten) Conference titles and enjoyed a 56-game unbeaten streak from 1901-05. He might have won more league titles, but Michigan left the conference for eight years in a rules dispute. Yost is remembered as a fierce competitor; as a humorless coach who preached sanctimony when it came to NCAA rules while he blackballed Notre Dame from joining the Western Conference; and as a nonstop talker. His early teams were known as point-a-minute teams. No matter how much they scored, it was usually more than the opponent.
No. 20: Bo Schembechler
Schembechler won or shared 13 conference titles and coached 25 All-Americans in a 27-year career. He is remembered as a fiery motivator whose teams played great defense. He is also remembered as the best coach never to win a national championship, which had a little something to do with his 2-8 record in Rose Bowls. But there’s another 10-game record for which Schembechler should best be remembered. In the first decade of his 22 seasons in the Big House, Schembechler went 5-4-1 against his mentor, Woody Hayes of Ohio State, in a series known as the Ten Year War.
No. 42: Fritz Crisler
Although two of his teams at Princeton and one at Michigan posted unbeaten seasons, Crisler is perhaps best known as the father of two-platoon football. In 1945, with many of his players fighting overseas during World War II, he devised a system of using one team for offense and one for defense to compensate for lack of depth and experience. Two years later, the Wolverines went 10-0 and blasted USC 49-0 in the Rose Bowl. He is also credited with introducing the famous winged helmets at Michigan.
No. 50: Lloyd Carr
Carr won five Big Ten championships, and in 1997 he guided the Wolverines to their first national title in 49 years. His teams won more than 75% of his games at Michigan, and he was the first coach to direct the Wolverines to four straight bowl victories. They went to a bowl game in each of Carr’s 13 seasons in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He coached 23 first-team All-Americans and finished with six top-10 teams.
No. 127: Bennie Oosterbaan
Never mind that Oosterbaan was the first player to ever have his number retired at Michigan. As if that legacy wasn’t enough, he went on to lead the Maize and Blue to an undefeated season and national championship during his first year coaching in 1948. He won three conference titles and finished in the top 10 four times.
Juwan Howard previews road trip to Illinois
No. 5 Michigan heads to Champaign, Illinois on Wednesday night for another Big Ten showdown prior to the new year when they take on the Illini. They head into this game during a week that has already seen No. 1 and No. 4 fall ahead of them with Louisville losing to Texas Tech and Maryland losing to Penn State, respectively.
Head coach Juwan Howard is on high alert for Wednesday’s opponent.
“Strong, tough, physical inside presence. Plays extremely hard. Very good on the low block,” Howard said on Tuesday. “Another thing that stands out, excellent offensive rebounding. Built a lot of toughness and his frame just breeds toughness all over him. We have to, of course, match his toughness and our guys are competitive. They’re not afraid. They love competing against any big that steps on the floor. We’re fortunate enough to face bigs similar to Kofi, (Luka) Garza is an amazing talent. Who was the other kid, Bacot? He was another tough one on the low block, too.”
Wednesday night’s game tips off at 9 p.m. ET.
- According to Brice Marich of 247Sports, Michigan is keeping an eye on the transfer portal with a few names already emerging as potential fits for the program. ($)
- Former Michigan basketball player and Miami Heat standout Duncan Robinson put on a show on Tuesday night.
Duncan Robinson was on from three tonight pic.twitter.com/P2rtdaSqxD— Maize n Brew (@MaizenBrew) December 11, 2019