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March 19, 2020 Happy Birthday Mike Jolly

Posted on March 18, 2020 by Barry Gallagher

Today is a great day to wish Happy Birthday to a Wolverine named Mike Jolly. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Michael Anthony Joseph Jolly was born on this day at Detroit, Michigan. Mike grew up in Melvindale, Michigan and became an All-State football player at St. Aquinas High School. When it came time to pick a college, Mike decided that he wanted to be a Michigan Wolverine.

(Note - Mike Jolly (#16) is shown above with the 1979 Michigan Wolverine Football team. He is seated in the first row - third man from the left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)

Part I. Wolverine of the Day – Mike Jolly 

Mike Jolly arrived in Ann Arbor in the summer of 1976. He didn’t start any games in 1976, but he played enough on defense and special teams to earn a letter. His first Michigan team won 10 of 12 games and tied for the Big Ten Co-Championship with a record of 7-1-0.

Jolly came back stronger and ready to play in 1977. He started eleven games at cornerback and earned his second varsity letter. It was also very good for the Wolverines. For the second straight year, they finished with a final record of 10-2-0 and won another share of the Big Ten championship with a record of, you guessed it, 7-1-0.

Mike Jolly was a three year starter and a three time Big Ten Champion at Michigan from 1976 to 1979. Photo courtesy of the 1979 Michigan Football Media Guide.

By the time the 1978 season, rolled around Junior Mike Jolly was one of the leaders on Bo’s defense.  He continued to play at a high level and earned first team All-Conference recognition at the end of the season. Michigan, for the third straight season, duplicated the accomplishments of the previous two years. They ended the season with 10 wins and 2 losses and finished in a first-place tie with a record of 7-1-0. Mike also won the Frederick Matthaei Award for his leadership on the field and in the classroom.

Mike Jolly was back for his final season in 1979. Once again, Michigan was picked to win at least a share of the conference title that year, but it didn’t work out that way. The Wolverines ended the season with a final record of 8-4-0. Their conference record of 6-2-0 was only good enough for third place in the Big Ten. Mike Jolly did everything he could to win that season, but it wasn’t enough. He earned his second straight All-Conference selection for his outstanding season.

So, today is a great day to remember the outstanding Michigan career of Michigan Man Mike Jolly. He was a four-year letterman who started thirty-five games at cornerback for the Maize and Blue. He was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree. Jolly recorded 9 interceptions and notched 124 career tackles (90 solo and 34 assists). Mike was a proud member of three Big Ten Championship teams.

Thanks to Mike Jolly for his outstanding contributions to Michigan Football. I hope he has a very Maize and Blue Happy Birthday today! Go Blue!

To read more about Mike’s professional career and other life accomplishments go to the links below:



Part II. March 19, 2020 National Day Calendar Update:


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