May 1, 2013
University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon will regularly offer his view on a variety of topics related to U-M and intercollegiate sports. All his posts, along with links to related content, will be available on his page, mgoblue.com/brandon, and he is also on Twitter at @DaveBrandonAD.
Since 1990, Schembechler Hall has been home to a large number of student-athletes, coaches and department team members working to create championship-caliber Michigan football.
In the last 23 years since Schembechler opened, intercollegiate sports has changed drastically. College sports today are bigger than ever, and college football is one of the main reasons the landscape has changed.
The landscape of the Michigan Athletic Department has also changed -- literally! Michigan Stadium and Crisler Center have altered the skyline of the U-M athletics campus.
Now the view along State Street is changing. Passersby see a demolition project with cranes, strewn metal, heavy equipment and bricks piled high.
It is 7,000 square feet of Schembechler Hall being torn down. The Margaret Towsley Museum that once occupied the entry way has been gutted. The artifacts have been moved to a safe location. And the work has just begun.
Once the demolition is completed, the real work will commence. The new construction will add 14,000 square feet.
What had become an outdated museum will now be a Crisler Centeresque showcase for Michigan football. Trophies, interactive screens, a legends wall and more will be there for the public to enjoy.
Schembechler Hall and the museum will have a clean, modern look.
Michigan football has etched Bo's famous saying "Those Who Stay Will Be Champions" into the hearts and minds of many. Now those words will be etched in stone to greet and remind all who visit.
Those who enter the museum will see, read and hear stories about the support, commitment, tradition and success of Wolverine football. When they leave, we want our visitors to feel inspired.
For the student-athletes, the coaches, department team members, recruits and their families who will be an integral part of the football program, they will be provided a special, inside access. They will discover the story of those who walked before them and how they can become part of this family.
The rich traditions of the Michigan Stadium experience, the championships, the bowls, the legends and the millwork of artifacts will portray what it means and what it feels like to be a Michigan Man.
The outer shell of the building will now blend with the architecture of Yost Ice Arena and Al Glick Field House. The blue roof will be painted brown to match the brick, but the roof will be barely noticeable. The traditional brick walls will be extended along its facade to give Schembechler Hall a look and feel that it belongs on the athletics campus.
When the construction is completed in April of 2014, the updates all through the renovated Schembechler Hall will once again make this facility one of the best football buildings in the nation. It will be the gateway to Michigan football!
The Schembechler Hall project along with what we have built and what we will build (like the Donald R. Shepherd Softball Center) are a visible reminder of how we are building a foundation for the future of all Michigan sports.
In the early 1900s, Fielding H. Yost built one of the great intercollegiate athletic programs with some of the greatest facilities of the era. The athletic program and facilities have stood the test of time.
Now, the Michigan Athletic Department needs to make sure this intercollegiate program and its facilities can stand the test of time in the 21st century.
With what we have seen in the last few years and what it is on the horizon, I feel confident that how Yost set U-M on its path to success more than one century ago can continue for another 100 years.
It really is great to be a Michigan Wolverine!