13. November 2008 · Comments Off on Blue Books: Bo’s Winless Season · Categories: Archive 2008, Blue Books, Bo Schembechler, History · Tags: , , , ,

MVictors: Blue Books

Thanks to the profileration of sports media folks in Haiti can tell you that Michigan’s going to end up with its first losing season since 1967, a couple years removed from Bo Schembechler’s arrival on campus in 1969. Bo started the streak and only dipped to .500 once, in 1984 when Jim Harbaugh was hurt and they lost to #1 BYU in the Holiday Bowl.

But Bo wasn’t foreign to tough seasons in his professional life before leading Miami, OH and Michigan. In fact, he lived through the worst season you can possibly have during his time as an assistant in Northwestern.

With the Wildcats heading into town Saturday this version of Blue Books pulls an excerpt from John U. Bacon‘s tome Bo’s Lasting Lessons, this selection from Chapter 2: Seek Mentors, Not Money:

I learned an awful lot from Ara in my first year at Northwestern, but I learned a heckuva lot more from him that second season, when we lost ’em all. And what I learned was how a real leader leads when things aren’t going his way.

Ara treated the staff as though we were winning every game. He never gave the slightest inclination that we were the problem. He not once blamed any assistant or any player for any loss we suffered that year. NOT ONCE.

I’m not saying there wasn’t some bitching among the players. When you’re losing every game, every player thinks he deserves more playing time. But I promise you this: There was a whole lot less bitching on that team than I’ve heard on teams that won half their games–and there was absolutely no, but no, bickering among the coaches.

The result? Put this down: Ara Parseghian lost every game that year, but the next year his team went 5-4–Northwestern’s first winning season in eight years.

Bo's Lasting Lessons

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