Bo Schembechler Has Died
Legendary Michigan head coach Glenn Edward "Bo" Schembechler has died today from a massive heart attack at the age of 77. His death comes on the eve the biggest Ohio State v. Michigan football game in the history of their bitter rivalry. He collapsed while taping his weekly tv show, and was rushed to the hospital where he soon passed away. The cause of his death was terminal heart failure. Doctors say that the excitement of the upcoming OSU - Michigan game may have contributed to his condition.
Born April 1, 1929, Schembechler is known as one of collegiate football's most dominant coaches in the Big Ten conference. Bo served a twenty-one year tenure at the University of Michigan, which also included a stint as University athletic director.
Bo was an undergraduate student at the University of Miami in Ohio and played football under the legendary coach Woody Hayes. As a graduate student at Ohio State University, Bo served as an assistant coach to Hayes. Schembechler spent some time in the military, and after that he served as an assistant coach a Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina in the mid 1950s. Subsequently, he spent time as an assistant coach at both Bowling Green and Northwestern universities.
In 1958, Bo returned to Ohio State as an assistant to Hayes. The two were known for their differences of opinion, although they shared a similiarly conservative approach to the game. Schembechler served under Hayes until 1969 when he left Ohio State to assume the role of head coach at rival University of Michigan.
At the time Bo arrived at the University of Michigan, they had only an average team. However, he was quickly able to turn them around, boosting the team's quality and stimulating campus interest in the team. In the final game of the season, Michigan upset Ohio State and Woody Hayes in a startling defeat.
In the following years, the rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan grew into one of the most signifiant rivalries in college football, for often the season finale between the two teams often determined the championship of the Big Ten conference.
Hayes left Ohio State in the late 1970s, but Schembechler remained at Michigan throughout the 1980s, during which decade he continued to produce nationally ranked teams. Michigan often dominated the Big Ten, but didn't fare quite as well in post season play. The Rose Bowl particularly proved to be problematic for Michigan; they made 10 bowl appearances and gained only 2 wins.
Schembechler, despite his bowl losses, became the fifth most successful coach in collegiate football 1-A. His overall record included 234 wins, with 194 at Michigan, and only 64 defeats. Many have speculated that his record would be even better had he continued coaching, but Schembechler retired for health reasons on his doctor's advice and didn't want to run his luck too far. He was a 7 time Big Ten Coach of the Year.