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November 19, 2006

Remembering Bo...

First is an email sent to the University community from U-M President, Mary Sue Coleman. After that, I've added a personal Bo memmory.

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A part of the University of Michigan died today with the untimely passing of Bo Schembechler.

Few people exceed their reputations. Bo was the exception. He was forever dedicated to Michigan, to our students, our alumni and our fans.

His contributions on the athletic field are legendary. Yet Bo's impact at Michigan goes well beyond the hash marks of Michigan Stadium, and we should always remember the depth of his contributions to a university he loved.

Bo was a teacher and a mentor. He was a benefactor who believed in the promise of cancer research at Michigan. And as he showed us just this semester, he was a student eager to learn. He loved the life and vitality of a university, and he contributed mightily to the culture and traditions of the University of Michigan.

Bo believed learning and excellence went hand-in-hand. He helped to shape the lives of generations of U-M students, and that is a timeless tribute to the dedication he showed our university.

"Leadership" is part of the Michigan lexicon. Bo helped to make this so, both on and off the field.

Never again will we know the likes of Bo Schembechler. And while we are saddened and stunned by his death, we are also filled with the gratitude that comes with warm memories. As individuals and as a university community, we enjoyed the privilege of knowing Bo and benefiting from his irrepressible personality and loyalty. He made Michigan a better university.

Mary Sue Coleman
President

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Of course Bo was a great coach, of course Bo was a great Athletic Director, of course Bo helped make Michigan what it is today, but I had a brief chance to get to see what kind of guy Bo was outside of the known.

I used to work at the U of M golf course. One slow day, Bo came in, to my surprise, because he wanted spikes on his and his wife's golf shoe replaced/fixed. So, I jumped at the chance. I took his shoes, replaced and fixed the spikes, and returned the shoes to him, never expecting him to pay... why would I make Bo pay for something to small? So, I hand the shoes to Bo and he says, "How much do I owe ya?" I responded with, "Nothing, you're all set." Bo's response, "Really?" (Wait, he really wanted and expected to pay!?) "Of course," I said. So, then he wanted to give me a tip for doing it, and I saw him take a $5 bill out of his pocket. I said, "No that's OK, but thanks." Then, to my surprise he reached back into his pocket and said, "OK, since you won't take five, here's $15." He put the five and a ten on the counter, said "Thanks" and walked off.

I felt weirdly respected by the man that didn't have to respect the lowly proshop cashier.

Ok, that's my Bo story. I've encountered him personally at other times, but that's the story I'll always remember, so I thought I'd share.

We'll miss ya, Bo.
Go blue.

Posted by mldarby at November 19, 2006 12:48 PM

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