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April 20, 2018 Happy Birthday Andy Cannavino!

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Barry Gallagher

The purpose of today’s post is to wish a very Happy Birthday to a former Wolverine Captain named Andy Cannaavino. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Andrew J. “Andy” Cannavino was born on this day in 1959. Andy grew up in Buckeye Land. His father played for Woody Hayes at OSU in the 1950s. In fact, he was an All-American halfback. His uncle also played at Ohio State.

Cannavino attended St. Joseph High School, the same school that gave us Desmond Howard and Elvis Grbac. After a successful high school career, Andy went against family tradition and decided to play for another Buckeye named Bo Schembechler – at Michigan.

Part I. Wolverine of the Day –Andy Cannavino

Andy Cannavino’s name first showed up on a Michigan Football Roster in 1977. He didn’t play much in his first season and did not earn a letter. Andy kept working hard on the field and in the classroom. He started six games in 1978 and earned his first letter. He helped the Wolverines post a final record of 10-2-0 which included 7 wins and 1 loss in the Big Ten. Michigan won the conference championship for the second straight season that year.

Cannavino earned Bo’s complete confidence in 1979. He started all twelve games that year and led the team in tackles with 151 takedowns. The bad news was that Michigan won 8 games and lost 4 games in 1979. It was the first time that a Bo team lost four games in one season at Michigan. Andy, and everyone else at Michigan, knew what had to be done in 1980.

The hard-working, and highly respected, Cannavino was named as one of Michigan’s co-captains along with George Lilja for the 1980 football season. The Michigan football team had high hopes and the eleventh ranked Wolverines started the season with a win over Northwestern. Unfortunately, losses to Notre Dame and South Carolina almost sent Bo over the edge. However, the Wolverines got things going and finished with nine consecutive wins. The last win was at the 1981 Rose Bowl. So, Andy Cannavino and George Lilja were the first captains to lead a Bo team to a bowl game victory.

Andy Cannavino Michigan Football 1980 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Andy Cannaavino lettered on three Michigan Football teams and led the Wolverines in tackles in 1979 and 1980. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Andy Cannavino recorded a team-high 168 tackles (still 3rd best ever) in 1980. His outstanding play helped the Michigan defense post three straight shutouts and limit teams to an average of 1.8 points per game for the last five contests of 1980. Yes, Michigan finished STRONG in 1980.

Yes, Andy Cannavino had a solid career at Michigan. He played on two Big Ten Championship teams and earned three varsity letters. He got his name in the record book and played a little professional football in the old USFL before embarking on a successful business career.

Congratulations to Andy Cannavino on his excellent Michigan football career. Thanks to Andy for his contributions to the great history of Michigan Football. I hope Andrew J. Cannavino has a very happy birthday today! Go Blue!

For more information about Andy Cannavino go to the following links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AndyCannaavino

http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1980fbt.htm

Part II. Trivia Question of the Day – April 19, 2018:

Which “rival” team did Bo Schembechler have the best winning percentage against?

Part II. Trivia Question Answer for April 19, 2018:  

Yes, Bo Schembechler is the winningest coach at the winningest school in college football history! He posted some impressive numbers during his twenty-one-year Wolverine career.

One of Coach Schembecher’s most impressive stats was his record against Minnesota. Bo’s teams went 19-2-0 against the Golden Gophers which worked out to a winning percentage of just over ninety-percent (.904). No coach in Michigan Football History won the Little Brown Jug as many times as Bo Schembechler and probably never wil

Part III. Trivia Question of the Day – April 20, 2018

Which “rival” team did Bo Schembechler have the second best winning percentage against?

 

 

 

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