Nov. 21, 2011
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.
he legendary men and women of Michigan are the foundation on which our athletic department has been built. Our U-M alumni, fans, coaches and student-athletes embrace the legacies of the past. It is part of our proud tradition; it is part of being a Michigan Wolverine.
This past weekend I had the honor to represent the Michigan Athletic Department during ceremonies honoring two of the all-time Michigan greats.
On Saturday (Nov. 19), former coach Lloyd Carr was publicly recognized at the Michigan-Nebraska football game for his upcoming induction into the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame in December. And, on Sunday (Nov. 20), I was there to witness Cazzie Russell become the first Wolverine to be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City.
The records and accomplishments of both men were phenomenal. Knowing what they stood for is even more impressive...
Lloyd Carr was a high school teacher, and as a coach he never gave up his role as educator, teaching his student-athletes the important life lessons to be learned as a part of their opportunity to attend Michigan. In his closing statements in his final postgame locker-room speech after the 2008 Capital One Bowl victory over Florida, Carr talked about education:
"The most important part of the opportunity that you have in coming here is to get an education. So finish it! .... Vow right now that you'll finish your degree so that you will take the most important thing out of this experience."
At Sunday's induction in Kansas City, Cazzie Russell talked about how it was a 'blessing' that a teacher worked with him to develop the necessary skills to be a Hall of Fame player. He also talked about "scholarship" and how important the U-M experience was in his life.
Now Russell is an associate pastor at Live Oak Community Church in Savannah, Ga. He is teaching values and adding guidance to his congregation, helping those individuals reach their full potential.
When I returned to Ann Arbor early Monday morning, I thought back on the weekend's events and what lies ahead for Michigan athletics. And, while our alumni, fans, coaches and student-athletes are thinking about wins and losses and the next big game -- especially this week -- I had the special opportunity to have personally witnessed two great Michigan Men honored for helping maintain the foundation that allows all of us to enjoy what we have today.
Carr told his 1998 Rose Bowl championship team when they were awarded the AP national championship trophy, "You have left a wonderful legacy for every team that follows you."
It is most appropriate that both Cazzie and Lloyd are being recognized and thanked for the wonderful legacy they have left all of us at the University of Michigan!!
Congratulations and THANKS to Cazzie and Lloyd!!
Michigan basketball great Cazzie Russell enters Hall of Fame on Sunday (AnnArbor.com)
Cazzie Russell honored for Hall of Fame career (SavannahNow.com)
Michigan's Cazzie Russell adds to legacy with induction in college Hall of Fame
Carr Tribute Video