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Bo Schembechler Obituary


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Bo Schembechler, the winningest coach in Michigan football history, died Friday after collapsing during the taping of a television show, according to three Detroit TV stations. He was 77.

Schembechler's death was reported by WXYZ, WDIV and WJBK, which did not cite sources. He died a day before the second-ranked Wolverines were scheduled to meet No. 1 Ohio State in the latest installment of the century-old rivalry.

Schembechler became ill and collapsed while taping a show at WXYZ in Southfield, the station said, and he was taken by ambulance to an area hospital.

Schembechler also was hospitalized Oct. 20 after becoming ill at the same location.

Police were sent to the station around 9:25 a.m. along with the city's fire department and escorted an ambulance to Providence Hospital, Southfield police spokesman John Harris said.

Schembechler met with the media earlier this week to discuss Saturday's super-hyped game.

During the news conference, the 77-year-old discussed the device that was implanted to regulate his heartbeat after he was hospitalized last month.

He said the device covered about half his chest and that doctors still were adjusting it.

Schembechler said he did not plan to attend the game in Columbus, Ohio, and that he doesn't attend road games anymore.

Schembechler had a heart attack on the eve of his first Rose Bowl in 1970 and another one in 1987. He has had two quadruple heart bypass operations.

The seven-time Big Ten coach of the year compiled a 194-48-5 record at Michigan from 1969-89. Schembechler's record in 26 years of coaching was 234-64-8.

Schembechler's Wolverines were 11-9-1 against the Buckeyes. But fans in both states generally agree the rivalry's prime years were 1969-78, when Schembechler opposed his friend and coaching guru, Woody Hayes. Ohio State prevailed in those meetings, going 5-4-1.

"It was a very personal rivalry," Earle Bruce, who succeeded Hayes as coach, once said. "And for the first and only time, it was as much about the coaches as it was about the game.

"Bo and Woody were very close because Bo played for Woody at Miami of Ohio, then coached with him at Ohio State. But their friendship was put on hold when Bo took the Michigan job, because it was the protege against mentor."

Savoring the decade of drama in 2003, Schembechler said, "It doesn't get any better than that, does it?"

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press
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