The purpose of today’s post is to wish “Happy Birthday” to Coach Jerry Hanlon. According to the 1987 Michigan Football Media Guide, Jerry Francis Hanlon was born on this day in 1929 at North Bend, Ohio. After he graduated from high school, Hanlon played football at Miami of Ohio from 1953 to 1955. His coach was a guy named Ara Parseghian. Jerry Hanlon was a hard-running halfback who helped the Redskins post a record of 24-2-1. He was an important part of two Mid-American Conference Championship teams.
After college, Hanlon coached high school football in Ohio for eight years. He landed his first college coaching job at Dayton. Jerry coached for John McVay’s Flyers from 1964 to 1965. Then, a guy named Schembechler offered him a job at Miami of Ohio in 1965. Hanlon helped Bo build a successful program at Miami from 1966 to 1968. Then, a guy named Canham offered Bo the job at Michigan.
Jerry Hanlon followed Bo to Ann Arbor in December of 1968. The rest, as they say is history.
Coach Jerry Hanlon was in charge of Bo’s offensive line from 1969 to 1982. In that time, he coached 10 first team All-Americans and 11 more men who earned first team All-Big Ten honors.In 1982, Bo decided that Jerry Hanlon needed to coach Michigan’s quarterbacks. So, that’s exactly what Jerry did. He coached the Wolverine signal callers from 1982 to 1987. One of them, a guy named Jim Harbaugh, earned first team All-American and All-Big Ten accolades in 1986.
In 1988, Bo put Jerry Hanlon back in charge of Michigan’s offensive line. Jerry coached Bo’s last two offensive lines in 1988 and 1989. Then, he coached the offensive linemen for the first two years of the Gary Moeller Era (1990 and 1991). During his last four years, Jerry added 4 more All-Americans and many more All-Big Ten performers. Finally, after 28 years of college coaching, Jerry Hanlon hung up his whistle.
When you look at the numbers that are associated with Jerry Hanlon’s college coaching career – you have to be impressed! He was part of twenty-six winning teams in twenty-eight seasons. His first team at Dayton posted a losing record in 1965 (1-8-1) and Michigan finished even (6-6-0) in 1984. With Jerry Hanlon on the sidelines, teams that he coached won 6 league championships and 10 co-championships. Bottom line – Coach Jerry Hanlon was a winner who helped Bo and Mo post 212 wins for the Maize and Blue.
Jerry Hanlon was an important part of every team he coached. He was a superb teacher, an amazing recruiter, a marvelous mentor and a loyal staff member to John McVay, Bo Schembechler and Gary Moeller. Coach Jerry Hanlon made a career out of bringing out the best in people and building relationships that lasted for lifetimes. If there was a Hall of Fame for assistant coaches, Jerry Hanlon would be a first ballot member. He was that good, I mean great, at what he did!
Yes, today is a very good day to celebrate the birth of Coach Jerry Hanlon. It is hard to believe that he has been retired since 1992. He is still one of the most respected coaches in Michigan Football History. I hope that Coach Jerry Hanlon has a very “Happy Birthday” today. Please take a moment to appreciate his immense contributions to the great history of Michigan Football. Thanks Coach and Go Blue!
Part II. July 13, 2019 National Day Calendar Update
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