The Wolverine

June July 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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62 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2018 BY JOHN BORTON T homas Guynes has been protecting quarterbacks forever. Now he's safeguarding school children, with no room for a missed assignment. A deputy for the Washtenaw County (Mich.) Sheriff 's Office, Guynes serves as the resource offi- cer for several schools in the area, including Ypsilanti High. "I'm law enforcement, big brother, uncle … I try to be that positive male influence, try to bridge that gap, particularly with this particular de- mographic of kids and law enforce- ment," he assured. Guynes maintains a good rapport with both students and school staffs, a steadying presence in uncertain times regarding schools. Always an imposing physical presence at 6-5 and 300-plus pounds, he now bears a badge to back his bulk. Coming out of Bishop McNa- mara High School in Kankakee, Ill., Guynes arrived at the University of Michigan in 1992. He might have been Colorado bound were it not for the proximity of the winged helmets. "I was a Buff," he said. "I was in love with Boulder. But with being a Chicago kid, that was going to be hell with my parents trying to come to games. Michigan was my smarter choice." Three and a half years after starting classes, Guynes held a Michigan de- gree and a ton of memories, including a wince-inducing one against Colo- rado. But there was no looking back. He recalled his first start, in a 58-7 U-M beat-down of Minnesota in Min- neapolis during the 1993 campaign. "I started at left tackle, a young kid coming in, trying not to screw any- thing up," he remembered. "I tried to really show the trust the coaching staff put in me was warranted, and tried to earn the respect of my linemates." The pecking order for those to im- press back then: linemates, coaches and the rest of the team. Guynes did well enough to become a full-time starter in 1994, although he moved between every position on the line but center. "In my mind, I'd always fancied myself to be a tackle, especially the left tackle," he said. "Once I started to let that notion go: 'Hey, I'm out there on the field, starting, contributing, having fun, this is what it's about.' "I became a better football player. Once I reached the professional level, I found out I was a better guard than tackle." Guynes and his teammates tackled huge highs and lows in '94. They beat Notre Dame 26-24 on Remy Hamil- ton's last-second field goal, building massive expectations. Those all came crashing down two weeks later, when Kordell Stewart to Michael Westbrook became ce- mented in college football history. The game-ending Hail Mary and Colorado's 27-26 win in Michigan Stadium proved too much to over- come in an eventual 8-4 campaign. "That defeat really detoured our season," Guynes recalled. "To have a loss like we did, it really took the wind out of our sails. We never to- tally recovered. "Kordell threw a helluva pass. The catch was made. I was on the side- lines, and it was one of those very surreal actions. It was like, 'What the hell just happened, bro? Did we re- ally just lose this?' "We're adults, but we're still kids. Trying to wrap your mind around it. The stadium goes silent. That was just like when we lost to Sparty a couple of years ago, off the muffed punt. I can only imagine how those kids felt." Months after the Colorado heart- break, Michigan head coach Gary Moeller departed, following an off- the-field incident. It hit Guynes hard. Even though he and the other Wol- verines knew well the man who took over, Lloyd Carr, and were comfort- able with a well-established staff, they felt an affinity for Moeller. Of- fensive linemen especially played off the now former coach's grit. "I love Mo," Guynes said. "I love Mo to death. I came in under Mo, and Les Miles recruited me. Mo was an offensive lineman's dream. "As we used to say, Mo was just a dawg. It could be fourth-and-one at our own 1 … 'Hey, hey, hey! You big SOBs, if you can't get me one yard, we don't deserve to win!' And I loved that about him! "He used to always say, 'You've got to get in there and bloody your nose.' He used to wear his Big Ten ring, and he would smack himself in the face   WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Thomas Guynes Remains In The Protection Business Guynes started 23 games for Michigan from 1992-96, while seeing action at both guard and tackle. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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