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November 30, 2016: Happy Birthday Buster Stanley!

Posted on November 30, 2016 by Barry Gallagher

Today’s is a good day to wish a very happy birthday to Buster Stanley. Sylvester “Buster” Stanley was born on this date in Youngstown, Ohio. He grew up to be a pretty big boy and a pretty good high school football player. Although he was recruited by the Buckeyes out of high school, (and many other top teams) he chose to play for Bo and Michigan.

Buster arrived on the Michigan campus in the fall of 1989. As it turned out, he played one season for Bo before the legendary coach retired in January 1990. Stanley did not earn any starts in 1989, but he played enough to letter on Bo’s last team. Buster also had a chance to play on a Big Ten Champion (8-0-0) football team that finished with an overall record of 10 wins, 2 losses and 0 ties. So, it was a pretty good start for the big guy from Ohio.

The 1990 season would be a red-shirt season for Buster Stanley. Mo’s first team finished with a record of 9 wins, 3 losses and 0 ties. Their conference record of 6-2-0 was good enough to earn a share of the Big Ten title.

Buster Stanley worked hard in his red-shirt season and it showed in 1991. He started six games at middle guard and four games at defensive tackle. Michigan went 10-2-0 that season and won another undisputed Big Ten Title with a perfect record of 8 wins, 0 losses and 0 ties.

Defensive tackle became Buster’s primary position during the 1992 season. He started eleven games and became a force to be reckoned with. He was relentless on the defensive line and specialized in raising havoc against the run. His strong play helped Michigan posted a record of 9 wins, 0 losses and 3 ties. Michigan’s first undefeated season since 1973. The Wolverines also won their fifth conference title with a record of 6 wins, 0 losses and 2 ties. That made it five Big Ten titles in a row for Michigan. Bo won two straight in 1988 and 1989 and Mo won three more in 1990, 1991, and 1992. Life was good at Michigan!

Buster Stanley | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Buster Stanley was a four-year letterman at Michigan. He finished his career as a co-captain and team MVP of the 1993 Michigan football team. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Life got even better for Buster Stanley in August 1993 when he was named co-captain along with Ricky Powers. There is no greater honor for a Michigan football player so, Buster must have been on top of the world at the start of his senior season. Although the 1993 football season was a letdown in many ways, it was still a good team, just not a championship team.

The Wolverines finished with a final record of 8 wins and 4 losses. Unfortunately, their string of five straight conference titles ended. Michigan went 5-3-0 in the conference which was only good enough for fourth place. So, from a team standpoint, Buster Stanley’s last season ended on a low note. Personally, it was his best year at Michigan so there was some consolation in that.

Buster Stanley was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the 1993 Michigan football team. He also won the Dick Katcher Award for being the best Michigan defensive lineman in 1993. He recorded eight sacks during the season and finished with fifteen for his career which ties him for fifteenth place all-time at Michigan. Buster also earned All-Big Ten honors in 1993.

So, Buster Stanley had an excellent career at Michigan. He finished as a Michigan football captain and team MVP who won three championship rings. He won some important awards, but more importantly, Buster and his teammates added forty-six wins to Michigan’s all-time winning record. Today is a good day to celebrate the birth of Michigan Man Buster Stanley!  Thanks Buster for your contributions to the great history that is – Michigan Football!  Go Blue!

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