Lima, Ohio – Gary MullerMonday morning (July 11), the assistant and head coach of the University of Michigan football program passed away. Mueller, 81, has spent 23 years associated with the Michigan football program. He was one of 11 coaches in the school’s history to work with the program for over 20 years, and one of those 11 individuals who served as head coach for Wolverines (1990-1994).
Mueller led the Wolverines to four Bowl wins and a 44-13-3 total in his five years as head coach, including a win over Washington in the 1993 Rose Bowl. Mueller guided teams to three major championships, five bowl appearances (1991 Gator, 1992 and 1993 Rose, 1994 Hall of Fame, and 1994 Holiday), and five consecutive finals in the top 20 of the final national election.
Wolverines Moeller set a record by winning 19 consecutive conference games from 1990 through 1992. By winning the Big Ten in his first season as head coach, he joined Fielding Yost, Bennie Oosterbaan and Bo Schembechler as the only coaches in the school’s history to accomplish this work. feat.
After graduating from Ohio State in 1963, Mueller began his coaching career at Bellefontein High School in Ohio. He joined the Schembechler staff in Miami (Ohio) in the 1967 and 1968 seasons and moved to Michigan with Bo in 1969. Muller served as a defensive coach until he was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1973. His defensive units led the nation in scoring defenses in 1974 and 1976.
In 1977, Mueller took over as head coach at the University of Illinois, a position he held for three years before returning to Ann Arbor in 1980 as quarterback coach for the Wolverines. Mueller resumed his duties as defensive coordinator from 1982 to 1988. As his units did twice in the mid-1970s, the 1985 team led the nation in defensive scoring. Prior to being appointed head coach for Michigan in 1990, Mueller served as the team’s offensive coordinator for three seasons (1987-89).
Mueller is survived by his wife Anne, his three daughters, Susan, Amy and Molly, and his son Andy, a former Wolverines quarterback and captain.
The family will be visiting on Friday, July 15 from 2-8 p.m. at the Chiles-Laman Funeral Home in Lima, Ohio (1170 Shawnee Rd.). A private family funeral will be held on Saturday, July 16.
The following are the statements of the sports department officials:
The world of football has lost a great man in Gary Mueller. Coach Muller cared for his players and teams and was dedicated to the University of Michigan. He has given so much to the game of football, excelling as an offensive and defensive coordinator and head coach in college and NFL ranks.
We have lost a wonderful family man. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Ann, as well as with their daughters Susan, Amy and Molly, and my former classmate and classmate, Captain Andy.
Rest in peace, Coach Mo, and go blue!
– Jim Harbaugh, soccer coach J. Ira from Michigan and Nikki Harris, head of the soccer family
Gary Mueller was a wonderful family man, a wonderful friend, a wonderful coach, and a man of integrity and character. I liked him, I respected and loved him.
Lloyd Carr, retired Michigan soccer coach
I was fortunate enough to work with Coach Mo in both Miami (Ohio) and Michigan. Gary Mueller was a coach who looked out for everyone who worked with him and for all the players who played with him and represented our program. He was a kind-hearted man who made decisions and sought input from his staff to make sure the decisions were right for Michigan. We will miss Gary Mueller but we will not forget. He was a wonderful Michigan man and a close friend to my family.
– John Falk, retired Michigan State football equipment manager
Very sad to hear of the passing of Gary Mueller.
In my estimation, he was one of the giants in recent Michigan football history. As a head coach, he won Big Ten Championships, Rose Bowls and countless big games against Notre Dame, MSU, and Ohio State.
As an assistant, he was instrumental in developing “out of the box” game plans and strategies that gave Michigan an advantage over its opponents. Sometimes, even when Mueller outnumbered the staff, he would find a way as coordinator to get his comrades ready to play the game of their lives.
As defensive coordinator, he developed a defense in the Sugar Bowl against Auburn that kept Bo Jackson, Lionel James and Tommy Agee, three future NFL players, out of the end zone. Auburn, the eventual champion, only managed to score three field goals against the Michigan defense and Mueller. Best defensive performance in a single game I’ve ever seen from a Michigan team.
As an offensive coordinator, he devised a non-collective offense for Michigan, and was instrumental in bringing Desmond Howard into the positions to have an amazing year and win the Heisman Cup. He was an incredible football coach.
And most importantly, he was very much liked and respected by his players. On a professional and team level, Mo was a player coach. He took care of these players after they finished playing. I love driving mo! While he was a genius of X and O, he always felt that the most important aspect of a player’s character was the development of his leadership traits. He did not stop training behavior and character. He loved players who showed leadership skills, and he believed they were the heart and soul of any team he coached.
He also struggled with bad breaks and poor timing in his career. But you’ve never heard Gary Mueller complain or make excuses. It was a class act. He said he was a good man.
I feel so humbled when people refer to me as the “Michigan man”. In my opinion, Gary Mueller was as good a “Michigan man” as you’ll find. In Michigan football we lost a giant. Ohio State graduate Gary Mueller is in the first row of Michigan football’s greats. He unfortunately suffered more hardships than he deserved, yet he got through them with his strength and character intact.
I pray for his wife Ann and his family. He was a wonderful father. He was a great friend. I loved the man. I’m not the only one. I will miss him. Rest in peace Mo.
— Jim Brandstatter, retired radio and television analyst in Michigan; Former Michigan player
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