Bo's Warriors: Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football
A giant tsunami hit the staid Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan in 1969 when it was announced that Glenn Edward “Bo” Schembechler was to be the new head football coach, replacing the beloved Bump Elliott. Efforts to pronounce the last name correctly came in response to thousands of questioners asking “Bo who?” but it didn’t take long before his name and the Wolverines’ resurrected football fortunes were the talk not only of the town, but of the hundreds of thousands of Michigan alumni across the country and around the world. Bo’s Warriors is the story of that man and the moribund football program he revived. Bo won a school record 194 games while losing only 48 and never had a losing season. His Michigan teams won or shared the Big Ten title 13 times and made 10 Rose Bowl appearances. In 1968 under Elliott, archrival Ohio State had pounded the Wolverines 50-14, and to add insult to injury, Buckeye coach Woody Hayes went for a two point conversion late in the game rather than kicking the extra point. When asked why he went for two, Hayes is said to have replied, “because I couldn’t go for three.” The next year, Bo’s first as coach, the defending national champion Buckeyes were 17 point favorites, but the 7-2 Wolverines dominated Ohio State and beat them 24-12. In a single afternoon, Schembechler had resurrected Michigan’s proud football tradition and returned the program to the country’s elite. Bo’s Warriors is the story of Bo’s first year as coach, seen through the eyes of several players and one assistant coach, and making the excitement of that historic season come alive.