Glenn E. Schembechler

From Ohio History Central

Glenn Edward Schembechler, better known as Bo Schembechler, was born in Barberton, Ohio on April 21, 1929. Over the course of his life, Schembechler became one of the preeminent college football coaches in the United States.

In 1951, Schembechler earned an undergraduate degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He then enrolled at The Ohio State University, where he earned a master's degree in 1952. He also served as a graduate assistant under OSU's football coach, Woody Hayes, in both 1952 and 1953.

Upon graduating from OSU, Schembechler briefly served in the United States Army. In 1954, he accepted his first coaching position in college football, serving as an assistant coach at Presbyterian College in South Carolina. The following year, Schembechler coached freshmen students at Bowling Green University at Bowling Green, Ohio. After only holding this position for a single year, Schembechler became an assistant defensive coach under Ara Parseghian at Northwestern University in Illinois. In 1958, Schembechler returned to Ohio State as an assistant coach under Woody Hayes.

Schembechler remained at Ohio State for five years. He then became the head coach at Miami University, his alma mater, in 1963. In five seasons at this institution, Schembechler won two Mid-American Conference titles and had a combined record of forty wins, seventeen losses, and three ties. Schembechler's impressive performance at Miami prompted the University of Michigan to hire him as this institution's head coach in 1968.

At Michigan, Schembechler won 194 games, lost forty-eight, and tied five. His teams never finished with a losing season and won or shared thirteen Big Ten titles. Schembechler's teams also made ten Rose Bowl appearances, but unfortunately for the university, the squads only won two of those games. Schembechler also never won a national title, but his self-proclaimed goal was always to beat Ohio State and to win Big Ten titles. During Schembechler's first ten years at Michigan, he coached against his mentor Woody Hayes. Fans and sports historians refer to this period as the "Ten Year War" between Michigan and Ohio State. Hayes's and Schembechler's rivalry during this period made the OSU-Michigan game one of the greatest and most storied contests in college football. Schembechler retired from coaching at the end of the 1989 season. At this same point, Schembechler also retired as the University of Michigan's athletic director, a position that he had held since 1988.

Upon leaving the University of Michigan, Schembechler served as president of the Detroit Tigers, a Major League Baseball team. He held this position from 1990 until 1992. In 1992, he was fired as president when a change in the team's ownership occurred. Schembechler remained an active presence in Michigan sports, continuing to have an office at the University of Michigan. He also had his own television program, "Big Ten Ticket," where he served as an analyst on Big Ten football. Before taping a show on November 17, 2006, Schembechler collapsed. Paramedics could not revive him. Schembechler had a long history of heart disease, and this was the ultimate cause of his death.

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