The Wolverine

March 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 33 of 279

BY JOHN BORTON A ny athletics director return- ing to his alma mater hopes for a warm welcome back. When it comes highlighted by a hug from the most spotlighted college football coach in America, so much the better. The scene at Warde Manuel's in- troductory press conference at the Michigan Union couldn't have been more collegial. Manuel spoke excit- edly about Jim Harbaugh, "my first captain," noting how the two former Bo Schembechler players are equal in their intense interest in that program's success. "I know his love and his passion for success for Michigan football, and he should know mine, without even saying a word to each other," Manuel insisted. "That is embedded in who we are." A moment later, Harbaugh burst out with: "I just want to give you a hug," leaping out of his seat and mov- ing to the podium to do just that. More than anything said by Uni- versity of Michigan President Mark Schlissel, or any glowing assessments from the U-M athletic luminaries in attendance, Harbaugh's gesture put the stamp of approval on the day. Manuel is back home, at the school that groomed him. He officially starts on March 14. Manuel played football for Schem- bechler until a neck injury prema- turely ended his career. He earned a bachelor's degree in general studies at U-M in 1990 and added a master's in social work in 1993. He worked for former ADs Tom Goss and Bill Martin (1998-2000) as an assistant athletics director at Michigan, and for Martin (2000-05) as an associate AD. By the end of that term, he'd earned an MBA from Michigan's Ross School of Business. He moved out from Ann Arbor, serving as Director of Athlet- ics at the University of Buffalo (2005- 12) and the University of Connecticut (2012-16). Now he's returned to the corner of State and Hoover, armed with a fixed football program, a lucrative, MANUEL TRANSITION Former Wolverine Warde Manuel Is Taking Over As Michigan's Director Of Athletics

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