Go Blue! The University of Michigan’s fight song proudly proclaims that the Wolverines are the “leaders and best”, and all it takes is a stroll through downtown Ann Arbor on a few Saturdays in the fall to see how seriously this school takes its athletic events. With 56 teams holding National Championships, 314 Individual National Titles, and 395 Big Ten Championships, U-M athletics are admired nationwide and that culture of excellence permeates throughout Ann Arbor.
With a history dating back to 1856, sports at U-M began with a baseball team, and quickly added a football team in 1879 (which captured its first national title in 1901), and other men’s teams followed. Women’s sports were added in 1973 (nearly one hundred years later) with basketball, swimming, tennis and others. Women’s sports continue to thrive at Michigan - notably on the Wolverine softball team that boasts the NCAA’s winningest coach in any sport, the legendary Carol Hutchins.
It’s not just Wolverine coaches and athletes that impress - it’s the sports facilities themselves, as well. Michigan Stadium, the legendary home to the University of Michigan football team, is the second-largest stadium on the planet and the home of the all-time attendance record for an American football game when 115,109 people squeezed in to see U-M beat Notre Dame on September 7, 2013. Known as “The Big House”, this spectacular space was the first to use electronic scoreboards, and is today one of the only collegiate stadiums with a video scoreboard in each end zone.
Famous athletes spring up often from U-M teams. You may have heard of Michael Phelps, Desmond Howard, Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, and Derek Jeter? Those are just a few former Wolverines who have found tremendous success as professional athletes. Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, also played on the U-M football team.
Interested in checking out a University of Michgan athletic event yourself? Here are few upcoming events:
- Water Polo: If you haven’t seen a Water Polo match, you’re missing out! Be there when U-M takes on Indiana on March 23.
- Softball: Coach Hutch and the Wolverine Softball team never disappoint. They’ll host a triple-header versus Indiana on April 5-7, and versus Penn State on April 26-28.
- Men’s Gymnastics: The Wolverines face off against the University of Illinois at Chicago at the Cliff Keen Arena on March 30.
- Women’s Gymnastics: The NCAA Regional Championships will be held in Ann Arbor on April 4-6. If you always look forward to the gymnasts at the Olympics, this is a meet you won’t want to miss.
- Men’s Tennis: The Wolverine Tennis team will take on several formidable Big Ten opponents in the spring - including Northwestern on the April 5, Illinois on April 7, Minnesota on April 13, and Wisconsin on April 14.
- Men’s Track & Field: Just as spring warms up Ann Arbor, you’ll have a chance to see these athletes in action at the Len Paddock Open on May 3.
- Football: The annual spring game has been announced for April 13 at 5 p.m., but if you’re planning ahead for the fall, the season begins on August 31 with an opening game at The Big House versus Middle Tennessee State.
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