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February 12, 2019 Happy Birthday Anniversary Captain Tom Coyle!

Posted on February 11, 2019 by Barry Gallagher

Today’s post celebrates the happy birthday anniversary of former Captain Tom Coyle.  The talented Coyle was born on this date in Dublin, Ireland, but grew up in Chicago, Illinois. Unfortunately, Tom Coyle passed away on October 9, 2012 at the age of sixty-two.

Tom Coyle became an outstanding football player at Brother Rice High School in Chicago. He chose to continue his education and football career at The University of Michigan. I don’t know if he flinched when he heard that Bo Schembechler would be his new coach or whether Bo personally recruited him.

(Note – Co-Captain Tom Coyle (#60) is shown above with the 1972 Co-Champion Michigan Football team. He is seated in the second row – fourth man from the left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)

Part I. Wolverine of the Day – Captain Tom Coyle

Bo’s First Class Showed Up in 1969 – Including Tom Coyle

Tom Coyle showed up in Ann Arbor in August of 1969. Coyle was one of thirty-six freshmen that would be become Bo’s first recruiting class at Michigan. Coyle, of course, sat out his freshman year like the other thirty-five first year players. He learned the Schembechler system and did what he had to do in the classroom. Tom’s focus was getting ready for the 1970 season. He impressed his coaches enough in spring drills (1970) to earn the John F. Maulbetsch Ward for his desire, character, leadership and possible future success at Michigan and beyond.

Starting Guard as a Sophomore and Junior

Tom Coyle learned his lessons well and started eight games at right guard in 1970. He played well for Bo who expected a lot from his lineman. Michigan finished Coyle’s sophomore year with a record of 9 wins and 1 loss. The Wolverines finished second (6-1-0) to the Buckeyes, who beat them in the final game of the season.

Coyle continued to play at a high level in 1971 and so did the Wolverines. He started all twelve games and Michigan finished the regular season with a perfect record of 10-0-0. In the Big Ten, the Wolverines won 8 games, lost 0 and tied 0 to win Bo’s first outright conference championship. Unfortunately, the season ended on a low note with a 12-13 loss to Stanford in the 1972 Rose Bowl. Tom Coyle started all twelve games that season.

Captain Tom Coyle Michigan Football 1972 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Tom Coyle lettered on three Bo Schembechler teams from 1970 to 1972. He finished his career as a Co-Captain and an All-Big Ten performer. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Starter and Co-Captain in 1972

The Wolverines and Coyle came back strong in 1972. The hard-working Coyle was named one of the co-captains along with Randy Logan. Captain Tom Coyle started every game (11) and provided solid leadership on the field. Michigan finished the season a final record of 10 wins, 1 loss and 0 ties. The Wolverines shared the Big Ten title with OSU who beat them, again, in the last game of the 1972 season. Tom Coyle earned first-team All-Conference honors in 1972.

As a proud member of Bo’s first graduating class in 1973, Captain Tom Coyle helped set the bar at a very high level for future Wolverine teams. During his “playing time” at Michigan (1970-1972), the Maize and Blue compiled an overall record of 30 wins and 3 losses for a winning percentage of just under ninety-one percent (.909). Coyle, and his teammates, won one league championship (1971), tied for another (1972) and finished and finished in a tie for 2nd place in 1970. The Wolverines won 21 out of 23 conference games over that three-year span.

Tom Coyle – Michigan Man

Captain Tom Coyle left Michigan with an impressive resume that included many individual and team accomplishments. He left a great Maize and Blue legacy for those who followed him. Yes, today is a great day to honor the memory of former Michigan Captain Tom Coyle and appreciate his contributions to the history of Wolverine football. May Tom Coyle continue to Rest In Peace. Go Blue!

For more information about Tom Coyle go to the following links:



Part II. February 12, 2019 – National Calendar Day Notes

National Plum Pudding Day

Wow, we are a little short on events today. I don’t know about you, but I am not a big fan of plum pudding. I think I will pass on today’s “celebration.” Have a Tremendous Tuesday!




  • Jeff Koukl says:

    My cousin was on the Michigan football team with tom Coyle. Reading about him brought back a lot of pleasant memories of going to games in Ann Arbor when I was a kid.I even met him a couple of times.What a great thrill that was for me.

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