Report: Michigan legend Schembechler hospitalized again

Updated: November 17, 2006, 4:30 PM ET
SportsTicker

SOUTHFIELD, Michigan - Michigan coaching legend Bo Schembechler died of heart failure Friday morning after collapsing prior to taping a television show. He was 77.

Schembechler collapsed at ABC affiliate WXYZ's studios in Southfield as he prepared to tape the "Big Ten Ticket" show.

He was found face down in a restroom and a call was made for an ambulance at 9:17 a.m. Schembechler was unresponsive when emergency personnel reached him minutes later, and he never regained consciousness. He was pronounced dead at Providence Hospital at 11:42 a.m.

Schembechler, who had two heart attacks and suffered from diabetes, had a pacemaker implanted on October 23 after a previous episode at the studio.

"This is a tremendous shock and an irreplaceable loss for the University of Michigan family," Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman said. "Bo Schembechler embodied all that is best about Michigan - loyalty, dedication and the drive for ever-greater excellence. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him, a number as great as the Michigan community in every corner of the world.

"This university's deep tradition is our immense pride and our common ground. No one represented Michigan tradition better than Bo."

Born Glenn Schembechler, he won a school-record 194 games and won or shared 13 Big Ten titles.

"I find it difficult to express what Bo has meant to this program for close to 40 years," Michigan athletic director Bill Martin said. "He was a giant of a coach and giant of a man. His life touched generations of players, families, staff, students and alumni. His energy fueled not only athletic success but the incredible pride of all Michigan fans.

"His impact was immeasurable. On behalf of the athletic department, I express our deep sadness at his loss, and extend our sympathies to his wife, Cathy, and their sons."

The second-ranked Wolverines visit top-ranked rival Ohio State on Saturday for a berth in the Bowl Championship Series title game. A moment of silence will be held before the game.

"This is an extraordinary loss for college football," Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said. "Bo Schembechler touched the lives of many people and made the game of football better in every way. He will always be both a Buckeye and a Wolverine and our thoughts are with all who grieve his loss."

Schembechler was an assistant to Buckeye legend Woody Hayes for five seasons before taking the head job at Miami of Ohio, his alma mater, before the 1963 campaign. He went 40-17-3 with a pair of Mid-American Conference titles before moving to Ann Arbor.

"Bo touched the lives of so many and helped develop countless young men into role models and leaders," Ohio State athletic director Eugene Smith said. "He is an icon for college athletics, not just the game of football. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family, the University of Michigan and college football fans everywhere."

Arguably Schembechler's greatest victory came in 1969, his first season with the Wolverines, when Michigan stunned Hayes' top-ranked Buckeyes, who were riding a 22-game winning streak, 24-12.

Schembechler spoke of the win at a press conference on Monday previewing this weekend's showdown.

"Of course when I came here, the great win for us in '69, and I'll never forget when Woody said at the dinner we had for him after he retired, and when he looked down at the podium at me and said, 'You will never win a bigger game than that,'" Schembechler said. "And he was right. I don't think I ever did."

The Wolverines went 194-48-5 in his 21 seasons in Ann Arbor, including 143-24-3 in Big Ten play.

"He was a heck of a coach and a really good guy," said Florida State's Bobby Bowden, the winngingest coach in Division I-A history. "I remember a statement he made about 10 years ago that was very significant. He was speaking to our coach's convention somewhere in Texas and he had already been retired for a few years, so he was kind of giving the old-timers' view. I'll never forget that he said he wished that he had never stopped coaching.

"He said he should have continued coaching, but also said he would probably be dead by now if he had. Here is was 60-something years old listening to him and thinking that coaching meant that much to him that he wished he had continued even if it meant shortening his life."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index