Today is a great day to celebrate a Happy Birthday anniversary of Michigan Man Marc J. Milia! According to the 1991 Michigan Football Media Guide, Marc J. Milia was born on this day in Southeastern, Michigan. He grew up in Birmingham, Michigan. Marc became star student and athlete at Birmingham Brother Rice High School. When it was time to think about college, Michigan was the place where Marc J. Milia wanted to continue his academics and his football.
(Note-Mark J. Milia (#67) is in this 1993 picture of the Michigan Football team. However, you can’t see him because Coach Moeller is kneeling right in front of him. Yikes, what a crazy way to take a team picture. Phot courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan. )
Marc was recruited by Bo Schembechler and he was on Bo’s last roster in 1989 as a freshman. He was listed as an offensive guard, but that would change along the way. Marc had some ”growing” to do if he was going to play offensive line in the Big Ten. So, he burned his red-shirt and spent his freshman year learning the Michigan football system and working out with Mike Gittleson and his staff. Marc was a serious student with medical school aspirations. So, he hit the playbook and the rest of the books and worked hard to get better.
Milia was back in 1990, but there were plenty of good offensive lineman ahead of him. He kept working hard in practice and learning how to play offensive line at Michigan. Milia did not start any games in 1990 and may not have played a down. He was being patient, waiting his turn and trying to impress new coach Gary Moeller with his skills.
Marc J. Milia was back for his third year/second season in year two of the Moeller Era. The staff was looking to build some depth at the center positon, so Mark started learning a new position. Since a center needs to be very smart, Marc probably picked things up pretty quickly. He started one game in 1991 and earned his first of three varsity letters. He also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the season. The Wolverines finished the season with a record of 10 wins and 2 losses. Michigan was also perfect in the conference (8-0-0) and won their fourth consecutive Big Ten Championship.
Milia’s senior season didn’t exactly turn out the way he had planned. He had been patient and he waited his turn, but he did not earn any starts at center, or any other position in 1992. However, he did earn Academic All-Big Ten honors for the second straight season. Moeller’s footballers went undefeated for the season (9-0-3) and won their fifth straight Big Ten Title with a record of 6-0-2). Marc sought admission to Michigan’s medical school and started making plans for his future. Of course, he earned admission to Michigan’s Medical School, so he was ready to really hit the books in the fall of 1993.
Of course, life does throw us a “curve ball” every now and then. Coach Moeller really need an experienced center in 1993 and Mark still had one year of eligibility remaining. He asked Marc to petition for delayed entry into medical school so that he could finish his final year of football. As it turned out, Marc was approved for the delay and he became Michigan’s starting center in 1993. He started nine games and helped lead Michigan to a record of 8 wins and 4 losses. Michigan went 5-3-0 in the conference that year.
Marc J.Milia proved himself to be a selfless Michigan Man in 1993. He gave his all for Michigan that season and earned a number of awards for his excellent play. For the third consecutive season, Marc earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. He was also named a GTE Academic All-American in 1993. Marc Milia earned Honorable Mention as an All-Big Ten Offensive Center at the end of the season. Finally, he was named Michigan’s Dr. Arthur Robinson Award for being the top scholar on the Michigan Football Team in 1993. You could say that Marc Milia’s football career finished STRONG!
Of course, Marc went to medical school a year late, but graduated Cum Laude. Marc J. Milia absolutely made the best of his opportunities at Michigan which is why everyone calls him Dr. Milia today.
Bo Schembechler would certainly be proud of the “Michigan Man” that Dr. Mark Milia became. Yes, today is a great day to wish a Maize and Blue Happy Birthday to Marc J. Milia. Thank you for your contributions to the great history of Michigan football! Go Blue!
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