Today, I want to wish a very “Happy Birthday” to Michigan Man Chad Henne. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Chad Steven Henne was born on this day at Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Henne became an outstanding student athlete at Wilson Senior High School in West Lawn, Pennsylvania. He was a stellar quarterback who earned over forty scholarship offers from some of the top schools in the country. Chad decided that Michigan would be the place for him. It turned out to be an excellent choice for Henne and for the Wolverines.
Chad Henne enrolled at Michigan in the fall of 2004. Surprisingly, Coach Lloyd Carr decided to start his freshman quarterback against the Miami Red Hawks. Henne played well in his first game. In fact, he played well enough to start twelve games. Chad led the Wolverines to a final record of 9 wins and 3 losses. More importantly, Michigan won the Big Ten Championship with a record of 7 wins and 1 loss. This made Chad Henne the first, and only, freshman QB to win a conference championship. Henne also threw 25 touchdown passes that season which tied Elvis Grbac for the all-time record. Chad’s career was off to a good start in Ann Arbor.
Henne came back ready to contribute more in 2005. He started twelve more games for the Wolverines who slipped to 7 wins and 5 losses. It was the worst season in Lloyd Carr’s tenure. Michigan won five and lost three in the conference which tied them for third place. It was not a year to remember for Henne or his teammates.
During the 2006 season, Chad started all thirteen games for Michigan. He put up some impressive numbers and helped lead the Wolverines to a record of 11 wins and 2 losses. Michigan finished with a record of 7 wins and 1 loss in the conference which earned them a second-place finish. The 2006 season was definitely better than the 2005 campaign, but the last two games left a bad taste in the mouth of every Wolverine!
Expectations were running high in Ann Arbor to start the 2007 season. The fifth ranked Wolverines had a ton of returning stars and plenty of very good players. Everyone was expecting great things from Michigan in 2007. Unfortunately, Appalachian State and Oregon did not believe all the pre-season hype about Michigan. The Wolverines lost their first two home games for the first time since 1959. Michigan was now on a four-game losing streak dating back to the last two games of the 2006 season. To make matters worse, Henne, who was injured in the first half of the Oregon loss, missed the next two starts against Notre Dame and Penn State.
The good news was that the Wolverines won eight straight games after the loss to Oregon. Michigan was right in the middle of the race for the Big Ten title with two games remaining in the season. Unfortunately, they lost the last two games of the regular season to Wisconsin and Ohio State to finish second in the Big Ten. Lloyd Carr had announced his retirement earlier in the season. Fortunately, the Wolverines sent Coach Carr out on a high note with a 41-35 win over Florida in the Capital One Bowl. Henne outplayed Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and was named the game’s MVP.
Chad Henne had a record-setting career at Michigan. He broke just about every major passing record in the books. His name is still on just about every page of Michigan’s passing record listings. He led the Wolverines to 34 wins, but went 0-4 against OSU – ouch! Oh, by the way, Chad Henne is still the last Wolverine quarterback to lead his team to a Big Ten Championship!
So, thanks to Chad Henne for his notable contributions to the great history of Michigan Football. Please take a moment to appreciate everything that Chad did for Michigan. Of course, he went on to a successful career in the National Football League and is currently on the Kansas City Chiefs roster. Happy Birthday Chad Henne. Thanks for the memories and Go Blue!
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