Go Blue Go
An Excerpt From the New Book Bo’s Warriors :
Bo Schembechler And The Transformation Of Michigan Football
By Frank Lieberman
On Saturday, November 22, the University of Michigan hosted the Ohio State University Buckeyes in Ann Arbor in front of 103,588 fans. Woody Hayes, was the coach of the nation’s unbeaten (in 22 games), defending national champion top- ranked college football team. Some called them the greatest team of all time and compared them to the Minnesota Vikings, the NFL’s gold standard at the time. Hayes believed this team was one of his best, if not his all-time best. If the Buckeyes were Goliath, then, the Wolverines were David. Then again, you know what happened between David and Goliath.
Even though they were the home team, the Wolverines were 17- point underdogs going into the game. Michigan had suffered two early-season losses, but had since been on a roll and entered the game with a 7-2 record. They were led by a young, first-year coach named Bo Schembechler. Coach Schembechler told his team that if they couldn’t remember Schembechler, “just call me Bo.” Previously, coach Schembechler had been a head coach of Miami of Ohio, known as a hotbed of coaching talent. He brought with him young, talented, energetic and intelligent football minds in assistants. Gary Moeller , Jim Young, Chuck Stobart, Jerry Hanlon, and Rick Hunter among others. These coaches also had experience as high school head coaches, which some believe contributed to their understanding of how to better communicate, teach and motivate athletically gifted young men.
Bo was described by many as a psychological genius because of his ability to understand, teach, motivate, and underscore the importance of “team” to his players. He drilled the concept of teamwork over and over again, which resulted in the cohesion of his squads .It as about the team, the team, and the team. These young men became psychologically part of a group to which they belonged (what he called “bonded teammates”). As a result, for example, Mike Taylor, a defensive All-American specialist, got on Reggie McKenzie an offensive All- American stalwart, for dogging it during practice drills. He said to Reggie, “Come on, they’re watching you. Don’t go through the motions.”
Source: The Wolverine ,October ,2014
To Be Continued