Michigan Football History

Picture of spines of books about Michigan football history in the Hatcher Graduate library.

Both Hatcher and Shapiro have many books about the fascinating history of Michigan Football.

While the start of the 2017 college football season is still a long way off, you can binge on the glorious and fascinating history of Michigan Football all year round by visiting the library. The Hatcher and Shapiro Libraries have enough books about the Big House, Bo Schembechler, and our famous rivalries to satisfy even the strongest appetite for gridiron history.

Want to read about the ups and downs of the program with an emphasis on the last decade? Pick up Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football by John Bacon. Interested in the beginnings of Michigan football around the turn of the twentieth century? Check out John Kryk's Stagg vs. Yost: The Birth of Cutthroat Football. As Kryk explains, in its earliest days Michigan Football's biggest rival was the University of Chicago. Of course, Chicago was soon ousted in that role by Notre Dame and Ohio State. While we don't play Notre Dame regularly any longer, you can still enjoy the rivalry's highlights and stories by reading Kryk's other book on Michigan Football: Natural Enemies: Major College Football's Oldest, Fiercest Rivalry - Michigan vs. Notre Dame. If you'd rather learn more about the roots of our ongoing battle with Ohio State on the other hand, you should look at The 100-Yard War: Inside the 100-year-old Michigan Ohio State Football Rivalry by Greg Emmanuel.

If it is the Big House that inspires your imagination and interest, you're not alone. We own several books on the history of Michigan Stadium. If you're looking for a detailed account of its construction, take a look at Robert Soderstrom's The Big House: Fielding H. Yost and the Building of Michigan Stadium. But if you'd rather read stories about the athletes and coaches who played there over the years, Tales from Michigan Stadium or If these walls could talk: Michigan Football Stories from the Big House might be a better option.  And even the most ardent admirers of Bo Schembechler will likely find something new among the many books by and about the famous coach. 

This is just a sampling of the selection you can find by searching Mirlyn. If you'd rather spend the offseason exploring other Michigan sports traditions, check out our books on basketball and hockey.

U-M Bicentennial seal