Ann Arbor Reacts to Bo's Death

By: Lauren Zakalik
By: Lauren Zakalik

Former Michigan Football player Zia Combs says it best.

"The only thing you think of when you think of the University of Michigan is Bo Schembechler."

Boarding the buses for Columbus Friday, the faces of the Michigan football team were sullen and emotional; they had just learned their mentor and friend had passed away. Lloyd Carr, Mike Hart and the rest of the Michigan football team have a new reason to win Saturday.

"The team is going to go and do what Bo would want; that's to come out with a 'W' and get down to business," Combs says.

"I guess Bo will be watching from the sky," says Billy Taylor, who played for Schembechler from 1969 until 1971.

Football players, past and present, gathered outside Bo Schembechler Hall Friday after news broke of the coach's death. Taylor had just seen Bo yesterday at the funeral of another former teammate, Tom Slade.

"You think he'll always be here," Taylor says. "He's not now, but he'll still be with us."

"Bo was like a father to me. He always had words of inspiration. I feel like I'm dreaming right now, I feel like it's a bad dream," says Combs.

Even students, who'd never seen Bo coach, turned out to pay their respects to the face of Michigan football.

"When I first heard the news, I was downtrodden," one UM student says. "It's a day I'll remember for the rest of my life, for sure."

"He fathered all of us in one way or another," Taylor adds. "He probably has more 'children' than any man alive."

And as those buses head to Columbus, those "children" will be mourning the loss and celebrating the life of Bo Schembechler.


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