The Wolverine

October 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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������ inside michigan athletics ������ Sitting Down With Former Michigan Linebacker Jarrett Irons A guidance counselor in the School of Kinesiology for more than 30 years, Shelly Kovacs was an influential mentor to Michigan students and student-athletes through her retirement at the end of September. In 2007, a group of alums that included Butch Woolfolk, Adam Kraus and Jarrett Irons started a scholarship in her honor that, once funded, will be distributed to incoming Michigan undergraduates with financial need. A former U-M football great from 1992-95, Irons sits on the board for two scholarships and was selected to sit on the Kinesiology Alumni Society Board of Governors. Irons spoke to The Wolverine about his continued involvement at Michigan, highlighting one of his current fundraising projects ��� an online auction loaded with Maize and Blue items, including a dinner with Irons, up for bid to benefit the scholarships. The Wolverine: How did you become involved in raising awareness and funds for the scholarships? Irons: ���The reason I give back is because [deceased professor] Pat Maloy and Shelly Kovacs meant so much to my development. They���re the ones that gave me a shot when no one else would. They believed in me, because when I first came to Michigan and talked about going to grad school, a lot of people didn���t think I could and suggested I just take undergrad classes over my five years so it would be easier. ���But I was adamant about graduating in four years, and Pat and Shelly, they didn���t laugh at me. They were very supportive and put me in situations so I could accomplish those goals.��� The Wolverine: How gratifying is it to see kinesiology grow into a full-fledged ���school��� within the university? Irons: ���It���s very fulfilling because when I came to Michigan, kinesiology didn���t have a great reputation. It was where the athletes got dumped. But to see how it���s evolved, to see the requirements it demands to be enrolled now ��� it���s just as hard to get into kinesiology as it is to get into the business school. ���Look at the relationship sports have in our society ��� it���s big business. It���s huge business, and for Michigan to have a kinesi- ology program that ranks among the top five in the country, and to embrace this school, and to be a part of it, it���s really exciting. ���It was great to be on the ground floor. And I want it to grow, and believe it can be even better. We have the right people in place. We���re one of the leaders in a market that has the po- Irons sits on the board for two tential to shape the future scholarships and was selected of sports in our society.��� to sit on the Kinesiology Alumni Society Board of Governors. Photo courtesy Jarrett irons The Wolverine: How important is the auction to the scholarship endowment? Irons: ���It���s important. Obviously, I can always help in giving money, but through my relationships, I can help secure items that I think Michigan fans, and sports fans in general, would really enjoy. ���Creating the scholarships is only one-half of what has to happen. We have to raise the money to provide a student with the opportunity to get their degree from kinesiology, and so this is a way that we can do that, and the entire Michigan community can do that while at the same time picking up great items they���ll cherish forever.��� The Wolverine: How closely do you follow the current team from your life in Chicago? Irons: ���I do follow Michigan heavily. I���m very active in our athletic department. Very active with Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison ��� I talk to all those guys all the time. ���Being a guy that grew up in Texas, I didn���t know much about Michigan, but when Cam Cameron recruited me it became obvious that I had an opportunity to be part of a program where education came first, and there was just as much tradition academically as athletically. ������ Getting To Know Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver Jeremy Gallon Jeremy Gallon, the 5-8 receiver from Florida, made a name for himself when he popped up and snagged a game-changing jump-ball touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Notre Dame game. The score pulled Michigan within three points, and the unforgettable comeback was officially on. Favorite Restaurant in Ann Arbor: ���The Brown Jug. I like the South U. Burger and the waffle fries, but I can���t eat all that anymore. It���s not healthy.��� Best Meal He Can Make: ���I make really good burgers, but again, I can���t be eating that stuff anymore.��� Favorite Class He���s Taken: ���My CAS 250 class last year, African-American Studies.��� Dream Vacation: ���Hawaii. I���d love to go there. I���m from Florida. I love the warm weather.��� Role Models: ���My parents, Karen and Chris. They���re hard workers. They taught me to stay with it and be dedicated. Growing up, they were always there for me.��� Favorite Professional Athlete: ���[Miami Heat guard] Dwayne Wade.��� Overall U-M Experience: ���It���s been great. All my After four games this year, Gallon had recorded a team- teammates are so good, and the coaches really high eight catches for 143 care about us and want us to get better. Being a part of this tradition and everything, it���s great.��� yards and one touchdown. ��� Andy Reid photo by Per Kjeldsen October 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 17

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