Friday, August 19, 2016
A Bo Schembechler Story Part 2
Bo initially learned his football from Sid Gilman and Woody Hayes two of the best football minds at the time. He was awarded the prestigious head-coaching job at the winningest football college of all time. Historically, the University of Michigan began defeating their opponents in 1879. This illustrious institution of higher learning even had an All-American center that became the 38 th. President of the United States. It took a genius first year, All-American, athletic director Don Canham, all of 15 minutes to hire Bo a diamond in the rough. At Bo’s initial team meeting with players, recruited by previous head coach Bump Elliott, he said to them In so many words “you players have the reputation of being spoiled country clubbers. I heard that you’re supposed to be good athletes but I also heard that you’re a bunch of pussies. Smart enough, but not tough enough. I’m going to show you what tough is and it will be my way or the highway. You have the greatest college stadium in the world and believe me when I get through with you, every team is going to know they played Michigan. And no one and I mean no one will ever outhit, out work or outplay a Michigan team that I coach.” Two players Thom Darden and Billy Taylor remembered meeting Bo, when they were recruited by him while he was the head coach at Miami of Ohio. Another, quarterback Jim Betts declined a recruiting invitation because of rumors of his nasty reputation. When Darden and Taylor met with Bo, Bo had them put on their workout clothes and perform running and agility drills for him. Darden expected better or special treatment like getting a steak to eat. After their workout, Darden said, let’s get the hell out of here, the guy’s nuts. Yes, Bo already had the negative reputation and his first team presentation, reinforced the notion of the change that was taking place. The perception was that he was not going to be a permissive, unconditional loving father figure. He was there with a single-minded purpose- to dominate, to win.