The Wolverine

November 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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coach that he offered the job to, but Paterno asked for more time since he was getting his team ready for his first bowl game. Paterno would not be ready to make a decision until after the Orange Bowl was played on Jan. 1, 1969. Don Canham didn't want to wait that long so he followed up on this Schembechler guy whose name kept surfacing during the research pro- cess. Canham invited Schembechler to Ann Arbor — Bo registered at the hotel under a secretive name — the interview went well and that was it! Unlike today, there was no mil- lion-dollar contract haggling and no drawn-out negotiations. Bo took the job for a thousand-dollar pay raise and no formal contract, just a "five- year" handshake from a relieved Don Canham. Bo knew that this was the opportunity of a lifetime and he seized it like a fairy tale hero grasps the magical "brass ring." This simple "deal" would eventually mean that Michigan Football, The University of Michigan, the City of Ann Arbor, the State of Michigan and college football would never, ever, be the same! "Bo Who" would simply be- come "Bo" and everybody, just about everywhere, would know his name! GLENN E. "BO" SCHEMBECHLER TAKES CHARGE OF MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Now anybody who knew Bo Schembechler understood that he had the patience of a rattlesnake when it came to coaching football. Five years to rebuild the Michigan Football program, are you kidding? It was nice that Canham was talk- ing five years, but Bo knew that the "string" that he was on was a lot shorter than five years. He knew that he was viewed as an outsider and a buckeye to boot! He was not a "Michigan Man" and the history, the expectations, and the fans would demand more than a five-year re- building program. Bo simply rolled up his sleeves and put together a plan to get things turned in a lot less than five years. He knew that Bump Elliott left him some very good play- ers and he knew what he had to do to make them better, especially against ohio state. No — this would not take five years, not if he had his way and Bo usually got his way! Bo hit Ann Arbor like a tornado in the middle of January, and you don't see a lot of January tornados in the State of Michigan. Bo was every- where, getting his feet on the ground, meeting and greeting people in Ann Arbor — selling himself and his pro- gram. But mostly, Bo was meeting his players, his staff, his secretaries, the janitors, everybody! He spent a lot of time setting expectations for how the Michigan Football program would operate — everything from answering the phone, to cleaning the uniforms, storing equipment, you name it! There was a new "sheriff" in town and Bo let everybody know what Sheriff Schembechler expected. It was pretty simple — he just wanted every coach, every player, every equipment manager, every secretary — everybody associated with the

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