Looking Forward With Michigan Athletics

Looking Forward With Michigan Athletics

President Schlissel answers questions alongside Jim Hackett, ’77.

Michigan Football’s 34-10 win over Indiana gave the Michigan faithful coming home another reason to celebrate the Maize and Blue. The victory came after a week of breaking Athletic Department news. 

A New (Interim) Athletic Director

Athletics will have a new leader going forward. On October 31, Schlissel announced that Jim Hackett, ’77, will serve as interim athletic director. A member of the Alumni Association, Hackett recently retired as CEO of Steelcase Inc., a global leader in office furniture and technology. 

Hackett played center under Bo Schembechler and continued his involvement with the University after graduation. Via Crain’s Detroit Business:

“At Michigan, he’s on the board of advisers for the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (which was outfitted by Steelcase) and the Life Sciences Institute. Hackett and his wife, Kathy, supported Ford School students through a pair of sustaining endowments: the Lee C. Bollinger Award for second-year students and the James and Kathy Hackett Family Fellowship.

Hackett delivered a brief statement at last Friday’s press conference, reaffirming the Athletic Department’s commitment to students:

“This university is here for students. They are not just temporary residents of the Big House, rather it’s their house. We are first here for them.”

Central Student Government President Bobby Dishell told our reporters his wishes for student involvement in the new administration.

“We hope to be on the search committee for the new athletic director. I think we’ve seen that it’s of the utmost importance that the student voice is represented in that search.”

On Game Day

A brisk November day saw Michigan handle the Hoosiers to the tune of 34-10, advancing them to a record of 4-5. Of the Wolverines remaining opponents (Northwestern, Maryland, and Ohio State) they must defeat two in order to qualify for a bowl game. 

The student section showed strong support early in the game, adding to the noise of the 103,000-person crowd. 

But as halftime gave way to the third quarter, the student section began to empty. Student Alejandro Zúñiga, sports writer for the Daily, tweeted this:

Sophomore Julia Brown was in attendance.

“I did notice that the student crowd was smaller. I was disappointed because it would have been nice to see more students support the team through this transition…”

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