On the Coaching Front: Michigan vs. Colorado 1994

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AP Photo/John Freilich

Silence. Eery silence. I have never heard 100,000 people be so quiet at the end of a football game. Twenty years ago, on September 24, 1994, I was one of 106,427 fans in The Big House, witnessing Kordell Stewart’s Hail Mary to Michael Westbrook, earning the Buffaloes a 27-26 victory over Michigan.

Walking amid the masses on the concourse after the game, I remember passing Don Canham, who was walking in the opposite direction. The stunned look on his face mirrored the rest of us.

Looking back from a coaching personnel perspective, it is amazing to see the Colorado staff’s numerous links to Bo Schembechler. On the field and on the coaching sidelines, the game featured a veritable Who’s Who of Michigan football. Here are some of the men who were on the field that day:

Links to Bo Schembechler:

Gary Moeller was Michigan’s Head Coach in 1994. Moeller coached under Schembechler at Michigan from 1969-76, and again from 1980-89 before taking over the head coaching reins for the 1990 season following Bo’s retirement.

Lloyd Carr was Michigan’s Defensive Coordinator that day. Carr was Michigan’s Defensive Backs Coach under Schembechler from 1980-86, becoming Defensive Coordinator for the Wolverines in 1987. He would of course later become Michigan’s Head Coach and lead the maize and blue to the National Championship in 1997. Carr was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

Les Miles was Michigan’s Offensive Line Coach in 1994. An offensive lineman under Schembechler from 1972-75, as a player he was part of three Big Ten Championship teams, yet none of those squads ever played in a Rose Bowl. Currently Head Coach at LSU, Miles led the Tigers to the 2007 National Championship. He was also named 2011 National Coach of the Year by AP, Home Depot, Walter Camp, and Liberty Mutual.

Jim Herrmann was Michigan’s Inside Linebackers Coach in 1994. A linebacker under Schembechler from 1979-82, as a player he was part of two Big Ten Championship and two Rose Bowl teams, including a Rose Bowl win to wrap up the 1980 season. His coaching career includes a collegiate National Championship and a Super Bowl Championship in the NFL. Herrmann is currently Linebackers Coach with the NFL’s New York Giants, where he has been since 2009. Herrmann was Defensive Coordinator for Michigan’s 1997 National Championship team. He also was Linebackers Coach for New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI championship team (2011 season).

Bill McCartney was Colorado’s Head Coach in 1994. McCartney was Defensive Ends Coach under Schembechler from 1974-76 and Defensive Coordinator from 1977-81, when Bob Ufer dubbed the Wolverines’ defense “McCartney’s Monsters.” McCartney led Colorado to the National Championship in 1990.

Elliot Uzelac was Colorado’s Offensive Coordinator in 1994. He had two stints on Schembechler’s coaching staff. The first was as Offensive Line Coach in 1972 and 1973; the second was again as Offensive Line Coach from 1982-86. Uzelac was Head Coach at Western Michigan from 1975-81, and Head Coach at Navy from 1987-89. He was named MAC’s Coach of Year in 1976.

Mike Hankwitz was Colorado’s Defensive Coordinator in 1994. A member of Schembechler’s first team in 1969, Hankwitz was a tight end for Michigan from 1966-69. Hankwitz is currently Defensive Coordinator with the Northwestern Wildcats of the Big Ten, where he has been since 2008. Hankwitz was Defensive Coordinator for Colorado’s 1990 National Championship Team.

Chuck Heater was Colorado’s Secondary Coach in 1994. A running back under Schembechler from 1971-74, Heater was a part of four Big Ten Championship teams and one Rose Bowl team. Heater is currently Defensive Coordinator with the Marshall Thundering Herd of the Conference USA, where he has been since 2013. Heater was on staff of 1988 Notre Dame National Champion Team, and 2006 and 2008 Florida National Championship Teams.

Michigan Players on the Field Now in the Coaching Ranks:

Matt Dyson, Michigan linebacker, now Head Coach George Mason University’s club football team.

Mike Elston, Michigan linebacker, now Defensive Line Coach, Notre Dame.

Harold Goodwin, Michigan offensive lineman, now Offensive Coordinator, Arizona Cardinals. An assistant coach on three Super Bowl teams, Goodwin earned one Super Bowl ring as an Offensive Assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.

Scot Loeffler, Michigan quarterback, now Offensive Coordinator, Virginia Tech.

Tyrone Wheatley, Michigan running back, now Running Backs Coach, Buffalo Bills.

Current Michigan Coaches on Michigan’s 1994 Staff:

Greg Mattison was Michigan’s Defensive Line Coach in 1994. Mattison joined Michigan’s staff in 1992 and was Defensive Line Coach his first three seasons before becoming Defensive Coordinator for the 1995 and 1996 campaigns. He of course rejoined Michigan’s staff as Defensive Coordinator in 2011 under Brady Hoke. Mattison was Defensive Coordinator for Florida’s 2006 National Championship Team.

Fred Jackson was Michigan’s Running Backs Coach in 1994. Jackson joined Michigan’s staff under Gary Moeller in 1992, and has been Running Backs Coach for all but two seasons since (he was Offensive Coordinator in 1995 and 1996). Jackson has coached under 4 of Michigan’s 19 Head Coaches (Moeller, Carr, Rodriguez, and Hoke).

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