Rich Rodriguez isn’t the only West Virginian to walk the sidelines for a Michigan football team. Many of you may know that the great Fielding H. Yost was born in West Virginia. A quick scan of Google maps determined that the old coach’s birthplace of Fairview is a mere four miles down the road from Grant Town, where Rodriguez was born. [Ed 11/28/08: Per John U Bacon, Bo’s Lasting Lessons author, this is completely false. I read this several places but apparently Rodriguez was not born in Grant Town. Bacon interviewed Rodriguez, here’s a note from Bacon to a few folks that challenged Bacon’s assertion of RichRod’s correct birthplace:
No matter how many sources list Grant Town as Rich Rodriguez’s place of birth, he was born in Chicago, and raised there until the middle of second grade. (I’ll take his mom’s word on that.) His family did leave their home late at night, and suddenly, and Rodriguez had not heard of West Virginia until they were leaving for the state that night, as the article says.
Yost brought so much to this University, from starting a legacy of dominate football to building Michigan Stadium. Fans of great Michigan announcer Bob Ufer may know that Ufer referred to the Wolverines as “Meechigan“, a tip of the hat to old Yost whom Ufer knew from his days on the Michigan track team.
From the audio archives, here’s the Great Ufer talking about Yost’s West Virginia roots and the twang that led to his Meeechigan:
Note: For more Bob Ufer audio, check out the Ufer Family’s site at Ufer.org!
Hey, there’s a t-shirt in here somewhere:
Update: Monday morning, Bill Martin just pimped my Yost/birthplace take when introducing Rodriguez in the press conference! I knew those cats read MVictors on State Street