A Banner Day | U-M 14, Illinois 10 (11/10/1962)
It wasn’t a banner year for Bump Elliott’s Michigan Wolverines, 1-5 heading in to homecoming and on their way to a last place finish in the Big Ten. But, on this day, before Michigan’s only Big Ten win of the season, a tradition unlike any other began.
Then Michigan hockey coach Al Renfrew and his wife Marguerite are credited in some accounts as the individuals responsible for the football tradition of the “M” Club banner at Michigan Stadium. The tradition started in 1962 with Michigan players racing out of the tunnel and leaping into the air to touch the “Go Blue: M Club Supports You” banner while the Marching Band plays “The Victors.” Renfrew reportedely asked his wife to make two flags to drape over the football lockerrooms to cheer on the team. She made two flags, with a neighbor, and the Block M was designed by Bob Hoisington, an Engineering Dean, to make sure it was correct. They handmade the flags, which was not an easy feat at the time. Originally, the M Club members hung the banners the lockerroom, and the banners were later moved to the tunnel and then the stadium. After the games, the flags came back home to the Renfrews’ home and were hung at their house. Later, the flags were changed to a banner.