The Top Ten Wolverines That You Are Thankful For

Submitted by k06em01 on November 27th, 2009 at 3:49 AM

#1) Bo Schembechler - I'm only twenty-two years old. I don't remember him coaching. But his book had a bigger impact on me than anything any other wolverine ever has.

#2) Lloyd Carr - I never thought he was the greatest x's and o's coach, but a few years ago, I was thinking about getting into coaching, so I sent him an email about myself. He responded with his personal phone number. I called him and he talked to me - a below average division III player - for half an hour on the phone. It meant a great deal to me. And actually made me realize that there were more important things to me than football.

#3) Eric Mayes - I'm not going to lie and say I even knew he was on the 1997 national championship team, at the time. But he was my group coach when I went to the UofM camp one summer. The speech he made to the entire camp, and just being around him for a week, had a huge impact on me.

#4) Fielding Yost - He made Michigan Football what it is today, and what it has been for the last 108 years. 165-29 (.851) lifetime record with six national championships. Might never be such a dominant coach in college football again.

#5) Charles Woodson - That 1997 season was the best experience I have ever had as a fan of sports. If there was one person to thank for that, it'd be chuck.

#6) Rich Rodriguez - I am thankful for him because I truly believe that he will give me another season like the 1997 one. Maybe more.

#7) John Beilein - He's the best thing that's happened to Michigan basketball since I've been watching. I don't know if he's ever going to bring it all home, but I do know that he's going to bring home the most that an honest man can in what has become collegiate basketball.

#8) Red Berenson - There isn't a better atmosphere in all the world to watch a sporting event than Yost Arena, and we have one man to thank for that.

#9) Tim Biakabatuka - The first Michigan game that I ever attended was the 1995 Michigan/Ohio State game with my late father. It was one of the best experiences we ever had together.

#10) Jalen Rose/The Fab Five - I'd say Chris Webber if it wasn't for his off the court involvements...but, watching the fab five as a child was probably the most fun I will ever have as a basketball fan.

Honorable Mention: John Bacon - Without great story-tellers, we would never hear great stories. I am very thankful that John Bacon has decided to make the University of Michigan his home (he could be writing for the NY Times, or teaching at Columbia if he wanted). And I am very thankful that he will continue to tell us great stories for a long, long time to come.

Comments

VictorsValiant09

November 27th, 2009 at 5:01 AM ^

#1) Fielding Yost. Though none of us were never able to hear the man speak, he is a larger-than-life legend who built Michigan Stadium, Yost Ice Arena, and the Athletic Department into the well-oiled machine it is today.

#2) Red Berenson. An Alum and former player who brought those values back to campus with him as head coach in 1984. In addition to numerous titles, the man resurrected a once-proud program and restored the tradition of Michigan Hockey to what it is today. His no-nonsense approach to coaching is something every coach should take to heart.

#3) Bo Schembechler. A giant in his profession who came from the hated rival to breathe life into a stagnant program and instill a credo we still live by today. A tough, honest disciplinarian who worked his players to the bone, but earned their respect. More than the Big Ten titles, the wins over OSU, the thing that should be most valued is his integrity.

#4) Brendan Morrison. A great offensive power who willed the '96 and '98 Wolverines to National Championships. I'm thankful he won our first Hobey Baker.

#5) Kevin Porter. Even though the 07-08 team didn't finish the job, being in the student section at Yost during his reign in Ann Arbor was a glorious sight to behold. The Hobey Baker winner, who, when coupled with Chad Kolarik, put on a hell of a show for us all.

#6) Charles Woodson. A Michigan legend who captured a National Championship and a Heisman Trophy in the 1997 Dream Season. Chuck was a true Michigan Man who never seemed to tire, and made amazing play after amazing play. His positive attitude, and philanthropy off the field should also be thanked profusely.

#7) Lloyd Carr. It's not easy replacing a legend like Bo, but Lloyd did it with poise and the requisite amount of class one should expect of a Michigan coach--credit Gary here, too. The man encountered some egos during his tenure, but usually managed to utitlize their full talents to the maximum. A gruff, but modest scholar as well, Lloyd did the one thing Bo could not, and for that, I thank him.

#8) Mike Hart. I've never seen such a small man take such a pounding as Mike Hart did, but he truly loved Michigan and wanted the team to win, and that was apparent every carry. For anyone who wanted to give up on anything, Mike showed you to stay on your feet just a little longer. I've met him on many occasions, gotten his autograph, and he is the nicest guy; my favorite player during my time on campus. And I will forever love him for his "Little Brother" comment.

#9) John Beilein. A master tactician who is a genius on the basketball court, he has led the basketball rennaissance in Ann Arbor. Thank you, John!

#10) Rich Rodriguez. And finally, Rich Rodriguez. A brilliant offensive mind, recruiter (yes, defensive players), and a man with enough gusto and passion to quiet even the most boisterous of detractors. Punch after punch, he is still standing, and he will soon be standing with Big Ten rings and National Championships. Tell 'em, Rich.

PSALM 23 Rod N…

November 27th, 2009 at 10:46 AM ^

1. My Father
2. My Mother
3 My Sister
4 My Brother
5 My Uncle
6 My Aunt
7 Bo Schembechler and his legacy of Coaches Esp Jerry Hanlon
8 U of M Club Members, especially of Flint
9 Dick and Nancy Leach
10 Jim Abbott (Thanks Michigan Arrogance)

cazzie

November 27th, 2009 at 7:40 AM ^

That our current football coach is included in these lists, is a testament to fact that there are many of us blue fans that do see what a gift this man is about to bring to our beloved Wolverines. We can see through the loses, the pain, the disappointment. We can stomach the humiliation of defeat, never before experienced around here. and through all the darkness of yesterday, we see recruits filling needs, players getting stronger. a glow of a irrepressible spirit that is Michigan. We see a man working tirelessly, rebuilding from the ground up, to bring this team back to excellence. long term excellence. this despite the mindless, jealous, ignorant hate and negativity and off field sensationalism and lies. but here you go. he's on our lists, with bo and charles, and yost. giants who accomplished so much standing side by side with RR, who is about to. i love you guys. go blue!!!

wildbackdunesman

November 27th, 2009 at 8:42 AM ^

Top 10 list is small, but here it goes, 10 great Wolverines:

1. Jonas Salk, created Polio Vaccine.
2. Harry Hillaker, primary designer of the F-16 Fighting Falcon
3. Larry Page, Co-Founder of Google
4. Claud E. Shannon, father of digital circuit design theory
5. William James Mayo, founder of the Mayo clinic
6. John Clark Sheehan, pioneered the first synthetic penicillin break through
7. William Erastus Upjohn, inventor of the first pill that dissolved easily in the human body
8. Jack Vaughn, US Peace Corps Director
9. Edward White, 1st American to walk in space
10. Clarence Darrow, lawyer in the Scopes trial

turbo cool

November 27th, 2009 at 9:31 AM ^

If this is purely a Michigan athletics list then you have to list Don Canham. No question. Without him the Michigan name wouldn't have the appeal that it does today, not even close.

steve sharik

November 27th, 2009 at 9:47 AM ^

10) Manny Harris & DeShawn Sims
Remember, Manny hadn't stepped foot on campus yet when Beilein was hired and easily could've transfered somewhere else. Sims had only played one season, and had to go through a very challenging family matter during it. No one would've blamed him if he left, either. Yet both stuck with Michigan and who's to say if Beilein turns things around without them? One thing's for sure, it wouldn't have happened so quickly. And they both helped prove that Beilein is good for not only athletic players, but also Detroit kids.

9) Nick Sheridan
Here's a kid who walked on here to play for his dad and learn the game in order to prepare for a future as a coach. He didn't expect to play. Lloyd retires, Rodriguez comes in, Mallett leaves, and suddenly this talent-challenged Rudy clone is the starting QB at Michigan against the future undefeated Sugar Bowl Champion Utah Utes. Fans unfairly criticized him in the form of personal attacks, yet he turned the other cheek, played his heart out, and has remained positive with all the negativity surrounding him. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of a Michigan Man.

8) The Fab Five
I know they cheated. I know they lied. I also know that they're no worse than the 1990 UNLV team, any John Calipari team, or 90% of college basketball programs, really. Yes, we're Michigan and we should be above that, but if they don't come here, Michigan Basketball could have died forever. IMO, without them, we turn into Northwestern Basketball. Instead of ending a 10-year NCAA tourney drought, we'd likely be staring at a 19-year one with rosters full of Chris Youngs and Seth Groningers, or with Courtney and Dion Simses. Should we have been placed on probation? Absolutely. Banner stripping and Win eradication? Bullshit. Most importantly, they were the most fun Michigan team to watch of any sport of all time.

7) AC
The man who changed Michigan football forever. The man who likely made it possible for Bo to recruit great WRs *and* QBs after he left. The man who showed Michigan that speed kills. The man who begat Greg McMurtry, Derrick Alexander, David Terrell, Braylon Edwards, and all the other great WRs who didn't wear #1. The man who made it possible for Tim Brown to win a Heisman Trophy (well, that and ND bias), as well as any WR/return man. Plus, he was my favorite player growing up. My family traveled up to AA from Virginia in 1979 for the homecoming game against Indiana. This was thought to be a blowout win for Michigan. Instead, a 10-hour trip was about to be ruined by Lee Fucking Corso, of all people. Yet AC makes the greatest single play in Michigan history and scores in the end zone...where we happened to be sitting in the 9th row.

6) Lloyd Carr
I didn't like his football philosophy of bend-but-don't-break defense and "we must establish the run" offense (especially b/c the run had been established since 1969), but Lloyd Carr is above his head coaching peers as a psychological master, leader of young men, and a teacher of football as a metaphor for later life. If you were to trust your son to any coach, it would be Lloyd Carr. Bonus points for leading the Wolverines to the 1997 National Championship. (To Hell with Nebraska.)
(I don't believe Carr is null and void, but every time I hear his name I think of the gas 'n' sip guys..."Lloyd Lloyd all null and void...")

5) Rich Rodriguez
RR:Michigan Football::MLK:Civil Rights
Will he be allowed to finish the job of leading Michigan Football to the Promised Land, or will he be killed off by those who fear change? The spread offense is the best offense in football. Debate can be made on whether the option version or the Air Raid version is better, but there's no way that QB-under-center offense is better. To win, you must have clearly superior talent than the opponent, and that's not going to happen unless the following programs fuck it up: USC, OSU, PSU, Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. I fail to understand who people think would do a better job bringing Michigan football to the new era.
*Les Miles? Slowly killing what Saban built and won the national title with Nick's players as well as some of his coaches.
*Jim Harbaugh? The Future God of Coaching is wowing people with a 7-4 Willingham-esque record and football philosophy just b/c he's at Stanford and he played for Bo. Um...Stanford, let's see. Free Ivy League level education--check. BCS Conference...with a tie-in to the Rose Bowl--check. Perfect weather--check. Someone please explain why it's so hard to win there. Plus, do you really want a loud-mouthed jerk leading this program? This guy would embarrass Michigan with his lack of class.
*Brian Kelly? He's a spread guy from the Big East who has yet to reach Rich's level of success in those areas. A RichRod disciple is doing better at CMU than Kelly did.

4) Brandon Graham
Simply put, the 2nd best defensive player to ever don the winged helmet. (If you don't know who's first, please leave this site immediately...or look further down this list.) What about Lamar Woodley, you say? As Lloyd would say, "CHECK THE TAPE!" Surround The Beast with other NFL players this year and he probably totals 20 sacks and 30 TFLs. Woodley was surrounded by NFLers and had similar stats to #55's 2009 numbers. I'd consider an argument for Ty Law or Ron Simpkins, but...no.

3) John Beilein
There is absolutely no one in the sport of basketball I'd rather have coaching Michigan Basketball. Not Roy Williams, not Mike Krzyzewski, not Rick Pitino, not Tom Izzo, not even Phil Jackson. You wanna talk about a perfect fit b/w coach and university? The only reason Beilein isn't regarded as the best college coach is b/c he hasn't won at the highest level on the highest stage. Tick...tick...tick...

2) Charles Woodson
Not only the best defensive player in Michigan history, the best player, period. To be fair Ty Law probably shows CWood that you can be a lock down corner at Michigan and won't be playing either Cover 2 or Cover 3 every down, but Woodson is the reason we had Marlin Jackson, Jeremy LeSuer, and Leon Hall, as well as now getting JT Turner, Cullen Christian, and 2011 fellow Fremont Ross student Greg Brown. Without Woodson, there is no national title, there are no wins over Ohio State in '95, '96, or '97. He is the sole reason Michigan has ever had a good pass defense. Before and after, it has been bend-but-don't break, and could be had by sophisticated passing attacks. The 1997 squad is the only Michigan team to lead the nation in total defense by virtue of its NCAA-leading pass defense. The '97 team had a great run defense, but people really think we were impossible to run against b/c we were Michigan, and great Michigan defenses were impossible to run against. Traditionally the way to move the ball and score on Michigan was via the pass, and that played right into Michigan and Woodson's hands.

1) Bill Martin
There are grumblings inside the AD that Martin is a sailboat loving businessman who doesn't know squat about athletics, and specifically how to hire coaches and/or interact with them. Yet, he has hired Rich Maloney, John Beilein, and Rich Rodriguez, not to mention coaches in women's hoops, volleyball, tennis, and soccer that never would've considered Michigan under our previous philosophy of attracting top coaches, which was to simply flash the block "M" in front of people. Martin has completely overhauled the athletic facilities to the point that we have the best facilities in the nation in almost every single sport. Furthermore, he has done all this while making money during a time when the 2nd largest revenue-drawing sport (men's basketball) was in the tank. If it weren't for Bill Martin, it's very likely that Michigan Athletics would have drifted into mediocrity.

Special Recognition: Bo Schembechler
Bo isn't #1 b/c Bo doesn't go with top rankings. His greatness transcends rankings. Bo is the reason I (and probably most of us) are Michigan fans. From an early age, I was taught by my parents what an awesome coach Bo was. The recalled going to the first game of the 1969 season, and they could tell *from pre-game warm-ups* that this new coach was something special. My parents could tell just by watching the body language of the team that Michigan Football was going to be a giant from that day forward. I remember watching Ohio State games and Rose Bowls growing up, and Michigan being down significantly at halftime, and my parents reassuring me, "Don't worry, Bo will talk to them at halftime." Every single time, Michigan played well in the 2nd half and either won or made it close. Bo always had one philosophy I would love to return: a coaching staff loaded with excellent coaches. I mean, really--Jerry Hanlon, Bill McCartney, Larry Smith, Don Nehlen, Gary Moeller, Lloyd Carr, etc., etc. Here's the coaching staff of the 1980 team that won the Rose Bowl and should've won the NC: Tirrel Burton, Lloyd Carr, Tim Davis, Jerry Hanlon, Bill McCartney, Jerry Meter, Les Miles, Gary Moeller, Paul Schudel, Bob Thornbladh, Ron Vanderlinden, and Milan Vooletich. Um, there's 3 coaches on that list that went on to win national titles as head coaches, and that doesn't include Mo and Vanderlinden, folks.

Pay the Dragon

November 27th, 2009 at 1:50 PM ^

Nick Sheridan is a class act. I wish he could have been better on the field, but as for off the field the kid is as good as you could hope for. He represents the program well and helps his teammates without complaint. His play deserved criticism, but his character and attitude warranted praise from the Michigan faithful. As for #9 on this list, it's quite a stretch.

Tater

November 27th, 2009 at 9:50 AM ^

My list is people who are currently associated with the school, with one exception at number ten.

1. Manny Harris. Harris could have gone anywhere; he chose to help rebuild UM. It could easily be argued that he single-handedly made UM a "cool" place to at least consider among top basketball recruits.

2. Tate Forcier. He played through injuries since the Indiana game, and kept us from another year of watching Sheridan. And he is only a freshman.

3. Red Berenson. He has been the Bo of the hockey program, but he went Bo one better and delivered two National Championships. Being an All-American at UM, winning the Stanley Cup with Montreal, and scoring six goals in one game in the NHL wasn't too shabby, either.

4. Rich Rodriguez. He has taken more shit than anyone in any UM coaching job has ever taken, and remains focused and optimistic. And, despite the whinings of naysayers, he is well over fifty percent finished with the rebuilding job.

5. John Beilein. Another coach doing a fine rebuilding job. Beilein was lucky enough that the extent of his rebuilding job was more evident to outsiders than RR's is, but he has put an end to people talking about the "troubles."

6. DeShawn Sims. Another kid who could have gone elsewhere, but chose to go to UM. I also think we owe a debt of gratitude to Sims and Harris for coming back this year to "finish what they started."

7. William Campbell. Keep that Cass Tech pipeline coming.

8. Vincent Smith. See above, Pahokee version.

9. Darius Morris. Another highly-regarded recruit. This helps add legitimacy to the program among other top recruits.

10. (In advance) Devin Gardner. He will shore up the depth at QB and allow Denard to begin what I think will be a very entertaining career as a slash. Also, he will be the first "model spread-option QB" that has signed with UM.

clarkiefromcanada

November 27th, 2009 at 10:11 AM ^

1. Bo Schembechler - The single most influential figure in Michigan sports. Perhaps not the most successful overall (Lloyd has the NC) but he will always be the measuring stick.

2. Lloyd Carr - Steve Sharik notes he is who you would most trust your child to as a coach. A dignified individual. A *National Championship* Coach (again, the hell with Nebraska). Featured character in my children's favorite book "Let's Go Blue!" http://www.wolverinesplanet.com/WStore/WStoreProductInfo.aspx?product_i…

3. Don Canham - Changed the face of Michigan athletics

4. Bill Martin - Sailboat leader and Adidas rep if you will but has worked to improve every facility and the game day experience is better. Next stop...new Crisler.

5. Desmond Howard - Who among us wasn't watching that game...Desmond down the sideline, beats the punter...20...10...5...touchdown!... and who didn't go apeshit when he hit the Heisman pose? People in my house jumping up and down. Ah, the memories.

6. Charles Woodson - Just a great great football player. A better person, it seems.

7. Jerry Hanlon - I heard Jerry Hanlon speak when in high school; is there a more passionate voice for Michigan football?

8. Rich Rodriguez - The times they are a changin' and you can see the pieces coming together with this young team. I will give him his seniors and expect greatness.

9. Brian Cook - Somebody had to put this forum together and Brian provides the best Michigan analysis on the interwebs.

10. The MgoBlog fanbase - What people would I rather associate with? Best fans in college sports by far.

Michichick

November 27th, 2009 at 12:32 PM ^

I know the Big 3 sports get the most attention and consideration, and I am thankful for Bo, Red, Yost, Canham, the Heisman and Hobey Baker winners, etc., but also the all time winningest coach in any Michigan sport. Carol Hutchins, softball (1107 wins as of today), and coach of the first softball program east of the Mississippi to win a national championship (2005). Because of Hutch, UM softball is in the national conversation every year, despite UM being a northern school. She personifies integrity and excellence, her MSU degree notwithstanding.