The purpose of today’s post is simple – Happy Birthday Warde J. Manual! According to the 1986 Michigan Football Media Guide, Warde Joseph Manual was born on this day in New Orleans, Louisiana. He became an outstanding athlete at Brother Martin High School. He starred in football and track and field. When Bo Schembechler came calling, Warde accepted a scholarship to play football in the State of Michigan. Wow, was Bo a salesman or what?
(Note – Warde J. Manual (#79) is shown above with the 1988 Big Ten Champion Michigan Football team. He is seated in the center of the third row. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)
Warde J. Manual was listed as a defensive tackle on the 1986 Michigan Football Roster. However, the only starts that he is credited with (five) took place as an outside linebacker in 1987. The coaches also tried Warde at offensive tackle in spring drills one year, but he eventually went back to defensive tackle. Warde played well enough, and often enough, to earn varsity letters in 1987 and 1988. Unfortunately, his career was cut short because of a neck injury in 1989.
Warde Manual probably didn’t play as much as he wanted to, but he was always paying attention! He took the lessons he learned from Bo and charted a very successful career in athletic administration. Manual was announced at the twelfth athletic director in Michigan history in on January 29, 2016.
There are many fascinating things about Manual’s career. However, the one I find most interesting is the fact that he shares the same birthday as the man he replaced, Jim Hackett. Yes, Warde J. Manual and Jim Hackett were both born on May 22nd.
Jim Hackett and Warde Manual share a birthday and they both shared the same office in the Michigan Athletic Department. Hackett had a BIG impact on the department in a relatively short time. It is very likely that Manual will have a very BIG impact for over a much longer period of time. Both men have become champions in life and great “Michigan Men” – just like Bo knew they would!
I hope that Jim Hackett and Warde J. Manual have great birthday celebrations today! Go Blue!
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