The Wolverine

December 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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70 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2017   WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Mundy still started the season opener of his junior year. It marked his first and last game of 2005. "I tried to push through it," he said. "But I was out there, effec- tively, one-armed. I didn't have any strength. I couldn't even open a door with my left arm or drive a car, any- thing functional." Mundy adjusted to a jolting reality, setting aside high expectations for his junior year. He redshirted and put everything into coming back in 2006. He did, helping the Wolverines rip through the first 11 games unde- feated, bolstered by a stonewalling defense. "Man, we had some ballplayers, for sure," Mundy recalled. "The 2005 season left a bad taste in a lot of peoples' mouths for a lot of different reasons. Just looking at the talent we had on that team, we knew we had something special. "Just looking around the locker room, seeing David Harris, seeing Alan Branch. These dudes were studs. We knew we had something special. That's just talking about de- fense, and on the other side, Mike [Hart] had clearly established him- self as a top-tier tailback. "Chad [Henne] was doing his thing, Steve was doing his thing, Ma- rio [Manningham] had come into his own. We knew we had something. It was a great time to be around not only really good players, but really good guys, who I'm still in contact with and talk with quite a bit." Then Bo Schembechler passed the day before Michigan lost to Ohio State, 42-39, and it all changed. "It was devastating," Mundy said. "We'd gone through the entire sea- son, knowing what it was coming down to. Bo spoke to us the day be- fore, and everybody was fired up. Unfortunately, we went out there and didn't take care of business. I didn't have my best game, which was dif- ficult. I think a lot of other people can say the same for themselves. In the end, it was a battle between two really good teams, with a lot of tal- ent. We came up on the short end of the stick. "It left a sour taste in a lot of peo- ples' mouths. It still does, to be quite honest." Michigan would have made the national championship game had it won. Mundy soon endured a second sour taste of a near miss. He didn't return to Michigan for a fifth year, sensing a youth move- ment meant he'd see greater oppor- tunity elsewhere. Plus, he nailed down his degree in April, a week after the NCAA grandfathered him into a graduate transfer situation af- ter striking down the rule, which it allowed months earlier. He enjoyed an excellent year at West Virginia, playing for Rich Ro- driguez. The end, once again, didn't turn out quite as hoped. Needing only a win to make the national championship game, West Virginia lost to a 5-7 Pittsburgh squad, 13-9, at home. "It was devastating," Mundy noted. "I'm like, 'Man, I just played out this scenario a year ago.' All we had to do is win. I might be the only guy in history to ever have that op- portunity twice in a row. "It was similar feelings of despair and upset. Then a few days later, we have a team meeting and RichRod informs us he's taking the Michigan job. Naturally, the guys didn't take it too well. "We're just coming off a major, ma- jor upset. Feelings were still raw. The timing was not good." A year later, having been drafted by his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, Mundy sported the ring of a Super Bowl champion. "It got better," he said with a laugh. "It definitely got better." Mundy battled through eight NFL seasons, until injuries took their toll and he realized in the summer of 2016 he no longer wanted to earn a living running into people. Armed with an MBA, he's launched his own venture investment private equity company. He won plenty over the course of his football career. Now he plans to win again. ❏ Michigan Accomplishments: Played on Big Ten championship teams in 2003 and 2004, and for the No. 8-ranked 2006 squad … Posted 86 tackles and three interceptions over three healthy seasons with the Wolverines. Professional Accomplishments: Played eight years in the NFL, for the Pitts- burgh Steelers (2008-12), New York Giants (2013) and Chicago Bears (2014-15) … Went to two Super Bowls with the Steelers, becoming a Super Bowl champion his first season in Pittsburgh … In 96 NFL games, he secured 310 tackles and six interceptions. Michigan Memory: "It would be my relationships. Those are really, really im- portant to me. They've been going on for 14 years now. The recruiting class of '03 had some really special guys. We were a small class, but we were a mighty class. I was teammates in Pittsburgh with LaMarr Woodley, and we were in each other's weddings … "The relationships from me being at the university are still intact today. Jamar Adams, Jason Avant, Morgan Trent and I actually came together and created a scholarship for minority students on campus. That comes from really strong bonds and relationships." Education: Earned a BA in liberal arts from the University of Michigan in 2007, a master's in athletic administration from West Virginia University in 2008 and an MBA from the University of Miami in 2016. Family: Mundy and his wife, Jillian, have two children, 5-year-old son Ryan- Taylor and 3-year-old daughter Camryn. The Ryan Mundy File Mundy tallied 86 tackles and three intercep- tions during his three healthy seasons at U-M (he took a medical redshirt in 2005). PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

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