Dark Weekend for Michigan Football

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In College Football's biggest rivalry, Ohio State beat Michigan on Saturday. The pregame fervor was darkened by the sudden death Friday of legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembechler.

Michigan Coaching Legend Schembechler Dies

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Bo Schembechler on the sideline during a Michigan game. Duane Burleson/AP hide caption

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itoggle caption Duane Burleson/AP

The man who became one of college football's great coaches during two decades at the University of Michigan has died. Bo Schembechler collapsed during the taping of a television show. He was pronounced dead of heart failure.

Schembechler, who was 77, coached the Michigan Wolverines from 1969 to 1989; he came to embody the team's bruising style with his blunt but accessible manner. He died just one day before the huge game between undefeated rivals Michigan and Ohio State.

Last month, Schembechler was hospitalized after an almost identical incident at the same studio. At that time, doctors implanted a device in his chest to regulate his heart beat.

At Michigan, Schembechler's teams won 194 games and lost just 48. His team's games against Ohio State's Woody Hayes provided signature moments in college football during the late 1960s and '70s — even more so because Schembechler was once a Hayes assistant.

At a news conference earlier this week, Schembechler said preparing for Ohio State took precedence over everything else.

"It was our strategy here at Michigan to do something to beat Ohio State every day," Schembechler said. "And, even if it's in the first meeting, to talk about it. But, we're going to do something every day."

The coach suffered his first heart attack on the eve of the 1970 Rose Bowl. He suffered a second heart attack in 1987. Schembechler also underwent two quadruple heart bypasses. The chief of cardiology at Providence Hospital said that in the end, Schembechler's heart muscle just gave out.

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