The Wolverine

January 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 11 of 171

When Jim Harbaugh got here, I knew the cavalry was coming. — Jim Hackett M ichigan's Director of Athletics didn't have to wait until the Wolverines played 12 games. He didn't have to see his favorite football team on the cusp of a 10-win season and back in a New Year's Day bowl. He could hear the hooves pound- ing. Hackett knows Jim Harbaugh. He knew what to expect, bringing him back to Ann Arbor. When Harbaugh had the Wolverines banging on the Big Ten championship door right down to the final week, Hackett wasn't shocked. University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel knows immunology, but came from Brown University wholly immune from the notion of big-time athletics. Brown features squash, which is great at Thanksgiving, but isn't going to pull in 110,000 spectators. To be fair, Brown does offer football, and Brown Stadium seats 20,000, roughly the stu- dent section at The Big House. Schlissel trusted Hackett on the Harbaugh hire and liked that this quirky mastermind once operated in a high-level academic setting at Stanford. Schlissel acquired an appre- ciation for the pageantry of a football Saturday in Ann Arbor, along with the deep passion of Michigan fans around the county. He's also come to respect the dynamo Harbaugh repre- sents. He's even picked up some Har- baugh phraseology. "The day after we had our press conference, he was already out there recruiting and running around, meet- ing with the team, at a level of inten- sity unknown to mankind," Schlissel told a highly receptive packed house at Michigan's 2015 Football Bust. "It's actually inspirational to the faculty WOLVERINE WATCH   JOHN BORTON This Cavalry Isn't Horsing Around U-M President Mark Schlissel (right) noted that Jim Harbaugh (left) instantly set the tone in his first full day on the job, inspiring those around him. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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