Michigan Oct 12, 2019; Champaign, IL, USA; A Michigan Wolverines helmet sits on the back of the bench during the second half of the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Allio-USA TODAY Sports

When you think of notable Michigan Wolverines football coaches, you often think of Bo Schembechler, Lloyd Carr, or Jim Harbaugh. While Gary Moeller might not be remembered fondly by some fans, his five seasons as Michigan coach were better than he got credit for, and that’s what many college football fans were noting Monday when news that Moeller has died made the rounds.

Moeller, who played for rival Ohio State, took over the Michigan job in 1990 with the unenviable task of replacing Schembechler. In his first three seasons at the helm, the Wolverines win at least nine games each year and went to two Rose Bowls. His 1992 squad infamously went 9-0-3 in one of the more unusual “unbeaten” seasons. Michigan went 8-4 in the following two seasons, which didn’t meet the high standards that the school has for its program, and he resigned in 1995, though an alcohol-related incident at a local restaurant also played a role in ending his tenure.

Moeller finished his time at Michigan with a 44-13-3 record, three Big Ten titles, and five bowl games.

“The football world lost a great man in Gary Moeller,” current Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh — who was teammates and a captain with Moeller’s son, Andy — said in a statement. “Coach Moeller cared for his players and his teams and was devoted to the University of Michigan. He gave a lot to the game of football, excelling as both an offensive and defensive coordinator and head coach in the college and NFL ranks.”

He would later go on to work in the NFL after that, spending time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Chicago Bears. Moeller stopped coaching after the 2003 season. He was 81 when he passed away on July 11.

Plenty of people from around the college football world paid their respects to Moeller on social media once the news was announced.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.