The Wolverine

January 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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60 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2022 BY ANTHONY BROOME F ormer wrestler Mike Amine (1986‑89) is a believer in giving back to the com‑ munity that lifts you up. There is some‑ thing about the University of Michigan campus that was endearing to him from the beginning, even dating back to when he was still coming out of high school. "I remember it like it was yesterday," Amine recalled about the moment it sunk in he wanted to be a Wolverine. "It was 1984 and I had a little blue Toyota Tercel. I was on I‑94. I was a kid in a candy store. I was giddy because I saw the Ann Arbor exit. It almost brought tears to my eyes because I couldn't believe this kid from a blue‑collar family was going to be attend‑ ing one of the best universities in the world on a wrestling scholarship. I was hooked. "I had been to wrestling camps there in my sophomore and junior years, and fell in love with the campus. The people I interacted with from the wrestling team were very genuine. I felt like it was going to be a home away from home. "It is a hard feeling to explain, but I think people who attend there get that feeling when they are on campus. It just reminded me of everything a campus should be." Nowadays Amine, who was an NCAA finalist and four‑year letterman in Ann Arbor, is the managing partner and founder of Wealth Strategies Financial Group out of Southfield, Mich. The bou‑ tique firm's website says it "was founded with the goal of assisting our clients in many aspects of their financial lives. We provide comprehensive and personal ser‑ vices. For each of our clients, we strive to create financial stability and security while planning for financial independence." WSFG also employs Mike Martin, a two‑time All‑Big Ten selection for the Michigan football team. Amine was not certain this would be the path his life would follow after wres‑ tling. However, he was able to harness the lessons he learned from the arena of sport and use them in his professional life. "I really didn't know [what I wanted to do]," Amine said. "I knew I was going to take what I learned from Michigan and apply it to my business life. Espe‑ cially with what we learn on the athletic field. Hopefully, we apply it in life. So far that has been my mindset. "I'm a Michigan man and have grati‑ tude for the experiences and education I received from the University of Michi‑ gan. It wasn't just life skills, but social skills that I am grateful for." Amine is proud of plenty about his time in Ann Arbor, especially making a run to the NCAA finals and being cap‑ tain of a Michigan wrestling team that took down one of the Goliaths in the conference during his time there. "I was able to represent the Univer‑ sity of Michigan in the NCAA finals as an unseeded wrestler," he said. "And I was captain of the team that would eventually bring down the powerhouse of Iowa. It was their first loss in 17 years in the Big Ten, and I was the captain of that team my senior year." His brother, Sam Amine (1988‑90), was also an NCAA qualifier, and both were Olympic alternates in 1992. "My dad was very proud that we were able to send a few of his kids to Michi‑ gan, including my brother and sister, as well," he said. "There are three of us that attended U‑M." His father, Nazem Amine, was the first to establish the wrestling legacy the family would become known for. He was born in Lebanon in 1927 and grew up a hard worker, landing a job at his father's butcher shop. A profile in the Detroit Free Press described Nazem as "rebellious" in his younger days, before he developed a love for wrestling at age 16. Training and passion led him to a spot on Lebanon's Olympic wrestling team. He competed in the 1956 games in Mel‑ bourne, Australia, and wrestled in the lightweight Greco‑Roman competition in the 1960 Rome Olympics, where he won a bronze medal. Amine moved his family to Michigan in 1967 and worked for a handful of meat packaging plants while also starting his own deli. He moved his family to Florida in 1979 and opened a restaurant before moving back to Michigan three years later, where he held a number of jobs. The eldest Amine's work ethic ran well into his later years, working for Spirit Airlines as a baggage handler and driver for 16 years. He passed away in July 2017 at the age of 90, but the les‑ sons Mike Amine took from his father will always stick with him. "What I picked up from him was his passion and love for the sport and re‑ spect for the sport," Amine said. "The second would be his work ethic that not only applies to the wrestling mat but also applies in life. "My dad had worked until age 88 full‑time, 40 hours or 50 hours a week. I learned work ethic from him and he Amine reached the NCAA finals at 167 pounds in 1988, helping the Wolverines to a sixth- place national finish, and captained the 1989 squad that went 12-0 in the Big Ten, including a 23-17 win over powerhouse Iowa, and placed fifth at nationals. PHOTO COURTESY BENTLEY HISTORICAL LIBRARY   WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Mike Amine Leans On Lessons From Michigan And His Father

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