Today is a great day to wish a Happy Birthday to Michigan Man Mark Huyge. According to the 2011 Michigan Football Media Guide, Mark Christopher Huyge (pronounced Hugh – gee) was born on this day at Grand Rapids, Michigan. He grew up to be an outstanding football player at Catholic Central High School in Wyoming, Michigan. In fact, Mark was good enough to earn a scholarship to play for Lloyd Carr’s Michigan Wolverines.
(Note - Mark Huyge (#72) is shown above with the 2011 Michigan Football team. He is seated in the first row - fourth man from the left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)
Mark arrived at Michigan just in time for Coach Carr’s last season in 2007. Mark was red-shirted during his freshman year so that he could learn the offense and get stronger for Big Ten play. As it turned out, Huyge never played a down for the man who offered him the opportunity to play at Michigan.
Huyge’s career officially started the same season that Coach Rich Rodriguez began his tenure at Michigan. The 2008 season was a “good” news - “bad” news time for Mark Huyge and Michigan. The “bad” news is that he didn’t earn any starts in his first season. However, the “good” news was that he played enough to earn his first varsity letter. The really “bad” news was that the Wolverines ended the season with a record of 3 wins and 9 losses. As you may remember, it was ugly!
Mark had a better season in 2009. He earned 9 starts (5 at right guard and 4 at right tackle) and finished with his second varsity letter. So, that was good for him. However, Michigan continued to struggle on the field. The Wolverines won their first four games and then pretty much fell apart in the Big Ten portion of their schedule. Coach Rodriguez saw his team finish the season with a record of 5 wins and 7 losses. Unfortunately, they set a record for Big Ten futility at Michigan with a final conference record of 1 wins and 7 losses. Ouch!
Huyge came back in 2010. He was hoping for a much better season in 2010, but it didn’t work out. Once again, the Wolverines rolled through their non-conference schedule and their first Big Ten game. They were perfect at 5 wins and 0 losses. Then, Michigan State smacked them down by a score of 34-17. Unfortunately, the season went downhill from there. Mark started seven more games (three at left tackle and 4 at right tackle) and earned his third letter. The Wolverines finished the season with a winning record for the first, and only, time in the Rodriguez Era. As it turned out, Rich Rodriguez was finished after a blow-out loss (14-52) to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.
Mark Huyge returned in 2011 to play for new Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke. Huyge started all thirteen games, so Hoke must have liked him! Of course, Hoke’s Wolverines really turned it around in 2011 by posting a record of 11 wins and 2 losses.
Technically, Mark Huyge had three different head coaches at Michigan. He didn’t have any control over the coaching situation during his time in Ann Arbor. All he could do was practice hard and give everything he had to Michigan. So, that’s exactly what he did.
Mark Huyge started twenty-nine games at Michigan. He finished with four varsity letters and left Ann Arbor as a Sugar Bowl Champion. He also left as a Distinguished Scholar award winner for his outstanding work on the field and in the classroom. Yes, his Michigan career had some “ups” and “downs from 2007 to 2011.” However, he did everything his coaches asked him to do and you can’t do much better than that!
In addition to playing some good football for Michigan, Mark Huyge was part of some interesting Michigan Football “firsts.” Here they are:
Happy Birthday Mark Huyge. I hope you have a great time on your special day. Thanks for your contributions to the great history of Michigan Football! Go Blue!
You can learn more about the Mark’s Michigan career by checking out the link below.
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