i find this extremely interesting
While watching the women's softball team today I started reading about Carol Hutchins and realized that not only was she from Lansing, but she used to play softball and basketball for Michigan State. I started wondering how she feels now and how she stuck around so many years... how did MSU not lure such a wonderful coach back to her original turf? Well, I found an article from The Michigan Daily that answered my questions and made me lover Carol Hutchins even more than I already did. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.
MAKING THE TRADITION YOUR OWN
Carol Hutchins used to be a Spartan. And every year, someone makes sure she doesn’t forget that.
“To this day, the week of the Michigan State game, people ask me who I’m rooting for. And I’m just appalled,” she says, sitting in an office with a giant, stuffed wolverine on top of the bookshelf. “I always tell them, I always root for Michigan State to come in second.
“But I’m just appalled people ask that question. To me, it’s a stupid question.”
She gestures to her navy blue warm-ups.
“Clearly. I’m blue. What part of me looks green?”
It’s a dumb question because it would be like asking if Bo Schembechler had still cheered for Miami (Ohio) over Michigan. Hutchins, a two-sport Michigan State student-athlete, has invested 26 years building a program from the ground up in Ann Arbor. It doesn’t matter if you come here from the outside, she says. The real issue is whether you take ownership of the tradition.
And she uses a example from East Lansing to prove that point.
“Years ago, Nick Saban was the football coach up there,” she says, referring to the nomadic coach who, in the past 10 years, has coached at Michigan State, Louisiana State, the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and Alabama. “And I used to say to my former colleagues and friends, that’s the difference between a Michigan Man. Because Lloyd Carr would never bolt to go to some other university, because he’s at the greatest university on the planet.
“The people who are at Michigan believe that Michigan’s the place to be, and embrace that and live it.”
Ron Kramer says that the Wolverine tradition is different than other schools, simply because it has been canonized more than any other. And Hutchins does her part to make sure her Michigan Women realize they are stepping stones in that Michigan legacy.
She talks to her freshmen at the beginning of each year about the honor of wearing the block ‘M’. She requires new team members to write a research paper about the Michigan softball players who wore their jersey number before them.
And if her athletes won’t cherish the importance of the tradition, Hutchins eventually gives them an ultimatum. You don’t just get to wear the block ‘M.’ You’re not entitled to it just because you worked hard in high school.
For those reasons — even with the 2005 National Championship on her coaching résumé — her favorite story from her time in Ann Arbor isn’t during a game.
It was after Stephanie Bercaw hit a two-run, game-winning homer to push Michigan into that year’s Women’s College World Series finals.
“Everybody thinks all these athletes are on full rides, but this kid was on like, not very much, and out-of-state tuition is enormous,” Hutchins says of the Wooster, Ohio native. “But … she came here and hit a home run that put us into the national finals. And on the podium at this press conference, they asked her, ‘Is this the greatest moment of your life?’
“And she said, ‘No. The day I got to sign a scholarship to go to Michigan was the greatest day of my life.’ ”
And congrats to UM pounding Purdue today!
The University of Michigan Softball team climbed into 7th place in the ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings this week. The Wolverines started the season at #11 and won their first 15 games. The are powered by the dominating pitching of pre-season All-American Sr. Jordan Taylor (.68 ERA, 71 Ks and 6BB) and the strong offense led by Sr. 1B Dorian Shaw, another pre-season All-American.
The suprise of the year comes from my pre-season All-American selection 2B So. Ashley Lane. Ashley leds the team in RBIs at 22 and led most of the year in HR, which she is now tied with Dorian at 7.
This is welcome news because the 1-2 punch gives Coach Carol Hutchins an opportunity to keep the pressure on opposing pitchers. Those pitchers cannot pitch around Dorian because they will face Amanda Chidester (.650 slugging percentage and 15 RBIs) and then Lane. Hutch has Dorian batting 3rd, Amanda batting 4th and Ashley batting 5th. This trio accounts for the bulk of the RBIs and half of the Runs Scored.
The Wolverines are in Florida on spring break this week although they will be playing many games this week. I will keep the Blog updated daily.
Good Luck Ladies and GO BLUE.
The Michigan Softball team looks like they are in mid-season form taking 2 more games today at the Houston Invitational. They beat the Ohio Bobcats in the first game 6 - 0. Senior Jordan Taylor was in the circle for the first game. She took a perfect game into the 6th inning before giving up a couple of singles. She finished up with a complete game shut out. It was the 31st of her career. She has 8 Ks and 0 BB. Going long was Junior Amanda Chidester and freshman Caitlin Blanchard
In the second game, Sophmore Stephanie Speierman pitched just as well as Jordan. She had 8 Ks, 2 BB and gave up 3 hits for an 8 to 1 win. Sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane punched out her second grand slam of the weekend in the 6th inning of the SFA game.
It looks like Stephanie is a great #2 to Jordan. We should be in great shape. Also it seems like the youngsters are hitting the ball well to help out Shaw. Wwe have power for both pitchers and great bats up and down the lineup.
[Ed-M: Shoe, these are neat and all, but I think they're better left for the board or mgo.licio.us than the diaries. I'll ask Brian what he thinks]
Check out "Hailed! Retired jerseys at Michigan", a new article in Michigan Today by James David Dickson. It tells the story of how the decision to retired football jersey numbers was started by an unlikely member of the football staff.
At U-M, the tradition of retiring jerseys started not with a head coach or an athletic director, but with an equipment manager, Henry Hatch.
After Bennie Oosterbaan's record-setting career at wide receiver ended in 1927, sportswriters noted that equipment manager Henry Hatch, who assigned numbers for the football team, had taken Oosterbaan's number 47 out of circulation prior to fall 1928.
A decade later, before the 1938 season—between the time Harry Kipke coached his last game for Michigan and Fritz Crisler coached his first—Hatch made it official, announcing to the media that number 47 would never be worn again.
Just two years later, Hatch told the media in November 1940 that Tom Harmon's number 98 would see its last when Harmon hung up his cleats, a decision that seemed to presage Michigan's 40-0 romp over the Ohio State Buckeyes, which propelled Harmon to win the sixth Heisman Trophy ever awarded, the first to a Michigan player.
Henry Hatch, U-M's famed equipment manager, with two of the jerseys he retired: Tom Harmon (98) and Bennie Oosterbaan. (Photo courtesy U-M Bentley Historical Library.)
If allowing the equipment manager to retire numbers seems unorthodox today, at the time no one objected. When Harmon was honored, one newspaper caption referred to retiring jerseys at Michigan as "Henry's niche of fame."
The story goes on to touch on the retiring of the Wistert brothers jersey #11 and how Oosterbaan made the unilateral decision to retire Ron Kramer's #87. Obviously the decision to retire Gerald Ford's #48 jersey was an Administration decision. Here's the news:
One of athletic director Dave Brandon's priorities is setting a consistent standard for retiring jerseys at U-M. Only three sports, football, baseball, and basketball, have retired jerseys, but with some 27 sports at Michigan, Brandon says now is the time to set a consistent standard.
"Should the player have graduated from Michigan? Should professional success factor in? What about the player's level of involvement and giving back to the University? These are all things we're looking at," Brandon told Michigan Today.
What a surprise. Dave Brandon is trying to bring some order to this process. The artilce goes on to outline how baseball, basketball, softball and hockey handle the issue. Did you know:
...there is only one jersey that will never be worn again in "The House that Cazzie Built"—the number 33 once worn by the former Wolverines guard himself. Russell is widely credited with restoring Michigan basketball to relevance in the 1960s. The other jerseys [Glenn Rice (#41) and Rudy Tomjanovich (#45)] were honored by the program, but can still be assigned, Madej said.
Red Berenson and Carol Hutchins give some good insight into how they assign jersey numbers as well. You can sum up their approach with one word: tradition.
Then again, what's Michigan athletics if not traditional?