The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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������ inside michigan athletics Maize And Blue Notebook On October 17, 1981, when the Wolverines hosted Iowa, the Michigan players ran out onto the field underneath a banner honoring Ufer. Photo courtesy the ufer family There was nothing goofy about the passion with which Bob Ufer approached his job, and that made it easy for Schembechler���s coaching staff to welcome him in behind the gates. ���Bo knew the preparation and the work dad put into this stuff,��� Tom Ufer said. ���He���d be down there on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with the assistant coaches ��� [Tirrel] Burton and [Jerry] Hanlon and the guys, Lloyd Carr, Les Miles ��� going through game film, going through position film to better learn what was going on. He���d learn the upcoming opponent and their tendencies. ���Bo knew that, and Bo respected the hell out of that. He knew the guy had done his homework.��� It also didn���t hurt that Schembechler understood very well Ufer���s unquestioned reverence for Michigan. ���Obviously, he wore his loyalty on his sleeve,��� his son said. ���Bo saw all of that, and knew dad was a former Michigan letter winner, football player and track star. His whole passion toward Michigan football in particular, Bo respected, and the friendship built with his salesmanship of Michigan. ���Meanwhile, Dad just thought the world of Bo, because he put Michigan back on the map. Everything Bo stood for was positive.��� Bob Ufer proved positive in the community far beyond his broadcast reach. An insurance salesman by trade, Ufer impacted countless lives as a Little League coach in Ann Arbor. ���Being there, not only for me as a father and how proud I was, but being there for all the kids in the Ann Arbor area and touching their lives with his energy and passion was special,��� Tom Ufer recalled. ���It wasn���t just a passion for winning, but being prepared. ���A kid would forget stirrups, forget a belt, forget a cap. He���d always have that stuff in the trunk. You play like you dress.��� The Little Leaguers dressed well, sponsored by the local Coca Cola distributor. They always sported the best uniforms in town, and decades later, many remember. ���I see them now in their 50s, and they all reminisce: ���Ufer, do you remember how much fun we had with your old man and Coca Cola?��� We won a lot, but winning wasn���t the main deal��� Tom Ufer recalled. ���It was being part of a team and a common cause. He instilled that in all of us as kids.��� His dad would deeply appreciate what is taking place inside Schembechler Hall right now, Tom Ufer confirmed. ���Dad would be so unbelievably proud of what Brady [Hoke] has done in really making all of us proud again to be Michigan fans, and restoring the Michigan name,��� he said. ���The character, the class and the passion that Brady is bringing to the table, Dad would be unbelievably thrilled with all of those things. ���It���s Michigan again. We are back in the hunt. It���s the energy around here ��� people are proud again, to be backing and following Michigan.��� The elder Ufer and Schembechler were both born on April 1. They���d always wind up at one or the other���s house to celebrate, along with the Michigan coaching staff and families. Schembechler also had Ufer speak to gatherings, including those featuring potential Michigan players. ���Dad would give the final speech, in that second week in February, that Saturday night,��� Tom Ufer noted. ���He���d say, ���You���re not a Michigan Man for four years. You���re a Michigan Man for life.������ And in this case, well beyond. ��� John Borton On His Way ��� Michigan wrestling coach Joe McFarland���s decision to replace his two assistant coaches in the offseason with up-and-comers Sean Bormet and Donny Prtizlaff has paid its first dividends, with the nation���s No. 1 recruit, Taylor Massa, choosing the Maize and Blue over Michigan State. The St. John���s, Mich., native, ranked first overall by, enters his senior season 187-0 after winning state titles at 145, 152 and 160 pounds over the past three years. ���It was an extremely tough decision,��� Massa told the Detroit Free Press. ���It was extremely hard between Michigan and Michigan State, but in the end I feel like Michigan had just more of the Olympic route that I was looking to pursue after college. I would like to train to become an Olympic champ someday, and I can do that at Michigan.��� November 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 13

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