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March 2, 2018 Happy Birthday Michigan Man William Hardy

Posted on March 1, 2019 by Barry Gallagher

Today is a great day to wish Happy Birthday to Michigan Man William Hardy. William “Bill” Hardy was born in Newton, Mississippi. During his high school years, he was living in Detroit. William became a pretty good football player, and student, at Detroit Pershing High School.  After graduation in 1963, he headed to Ann Arbor to matriculate at Michigan and play some more football.

(Note-Michigan Man William Hardy (#66) is shown above with the 1966 Michigan Football team. Hardy is seated in the first row – first man on the left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)

Part I. Wolverine of the Day – Michigan Man William Hardy

Slow Start in Ann Arbor

William Hardy arrived at Michigan in 1963, just in time for Bump Elliott’s fifth season at the helm. Unfortunately, it was not a good season since the Wolverines posted a final record of 3 wins, 4 losses and 2 ties. When Elliott came on board in 1959 he talked about a three to five-year rebuilding program that would get Michigan back in contention for the Big Ten championship. Well, the Wolverines fell short in 1963, that’s for sure. Hardy played on the freshman team as an offensive lineman and just tried to learn the Michigan system and do well in his classes.

Hardy was back in 1964 and, finally, so were the Wolverines. William did not play a down in 1964 and he did not earn a letter, but he was part of something special that year. Bump Elliott’s “championship train” arrived one year late, but it rolled to a record of 9 wins and 1 loss. The Wolverines won the Big Ten title and the Rose Bowl Championship. It was easily Bump Elliott’s best year at Michigan. Life was good in Ann Arbor in 1964!

Part-Time Starter and Letter Winner in 1965 and 1966

The good news for Bill Hardy is that he started two games at right tackle in 1965 and earned his first varsity letter. The bad news was that the Wolverines slipped back to their losing ways and finished with a record of 4 wins and 6 losses. Even worse, the defending conference champions posted a record of 2 wins and 5 losses which earned them a tie for seventh place in the Big Ten.

William Hardy Michigan Football 1966 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Michigan Man William Hardy (#66) takes the field with teammate Frank Nunley (#59) in 1966. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Michigan man William Hardy finished his senior year on a high note in 1966 as the Wolverines posted a winning season. Michigan finished with 6 wins and 4 losses in 1966 and climbed back to a tie for third in the conference with a record of 4 wins and 3 losses. Not as good as 1964, but much more respectable for the Maize and Blue. Hardy started two more games in 1966 and earned his second varsity letter.

Michigan Man William Hardy

So, that’s a little bit about Michigan Man William Hardy. He, and his teammates, contributed nineteen wins to Michigan’s total and one Big Ten Championship. Today is a good day to remember his contributions to the great history of Michigan Football.

Please note, I had a hard time finding information about Mr. Hardy. I hope that Michigan Man William Hardy is still alive and that he has a very Happy Birthday today. Go Blue!

http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1966fbt.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1966_Michigan_Wolverines_football_team

Part II. March 2, 2019 National Day Calendar Events

 

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