Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link: https://read.uberflip.com/i/137378

Contents of this Issue


Page 50 of 267

who was always running around. "But I got to know Jeff when he came into the family, and he kind of got my name involved. That's what happens in coaching — I didn't know Brady, but we had mutual friends, people he trusted I'd worked for and different things, so I went to Ball State in 2008, ended up on that staff couple days before spring ball." And inherited an outstanding group. The Cardinals posted a 12–0 record during the regular season, their first perfect regular season since 1949 and their first undefeated season in Mid-American Conference play since 1978, to earn their first MAC West championship in program history. "We ran the table, I followed Brady to San Diego State, we had success and here I am," Funk said. "It's crazy how things happen in the coaching fraternity, and it's all about connections. This was really basically started by my connection with Jeff Hecklinski." If Funk was enjoying life before, he's living the dream now. He's asked "all the time" what it's like to be at a university like Michigan, and while he can't be in awe — "I tend to put blinders on when I work, so I just work," he said — he appreciates every day. He's also excited for the future given he now has more than twice as many scholarship linemen to work with as he did when he first arrived (eight). Funk first joined Hoke's coaching staff at Ball State, then followed the head coach to the West Coast and San Diego State, then back to the Midwest and U-M. photo by per kjeldsen "It's awesome," he said. "This is obviously a great university and program, and I hate to use the word but it really is awesome to be here. "Every day I pinch myself and say, 'Hey, I'm at the University of Michigan with a great head coach, a great coaching staff and a great support staff around us.' Things are going in the right direction, even though we've got work to do. We're excited about the direction we're going. "Obviously we didn't get done what we wanted last year, and that's well documented, but we're going in the right direction, getting the right kids in here. The kids are working hard and we're working hard. It's a real privilege to be here." — Chris Balas Curt Mallory Defensive Backs Mallory had just accepted a defensive coordinator position at Akron when Brady Hoke was hired at Michigan. He got excited when he heard the news, realizing a dream could possibly come true. "I'd known Coach Hoke for a long time. His father and my father played college football together, his brother and my brother worked together on the same staff — I knew Brady not just from working football camp, but our families knew each other. "I got to know him a little bit more. My father when he was at Indiana — not coaching but retired — would hold a clinic in Bloomington, Ind. He would ask people to come volunteer — my dad would put together college coaches and they would clinic junior high and little league coaches in the summer — and every year, never once did Coach Hoke not bring his whole staff from Ball State." Hoke was the only coach who did that, Mallory recalled. "My dad would have a couple guys from Indiana, Butler — I would come down, and my brothers Mike and Doug," he recalled. "But every year Coach Hoke and his staff would be there in the summertime at the end of July He knew he could count on him at the end of two-a-days. I always remembered what a class act he was. That was not an easy thing to do when you were getting ready for the season, but that's how I got to know Coach a little more." Mallory had been a student assistant at Michigan in 1992 when Greg Mattison was in his first stint as a U-M assistant, and he stayed in touch with him over the years through stints at Indiana, Ball State, Central Michigan, Indiana again and Illinois. He'd even visit Mattison in Baltimore when Mattison was defensive coordinator with Mallory had known Hoke for a long time through summer camps and clinics, but had never worked with him until coming aboard at Michigan. photo by lon horwedel the Ravens, picking up tips and staying in touch with his friend. Mallory also coached with newly hired offensive coordinator Al Borges at Indiana during his second stint with the Hoosiers (2002-04) — it helped him immensely, then, when his name surfaced as a potential hire and he had two coordinators in his corner. "I was also fortunate to have two brothers who played here, my dad who coached in the Big Ten," Mallory said. "My dad sent all three of us here because of the love he had for this place, and the love my brothers and I had. With all that, it just worked out. "I was praying. This was a dream for my wife and me. I was talking with Coach Mattison and Coach Borges, and then when I got a call from Coach Hoke to come interview, I was offered the job." Just as he said 'yes' immediately when former head coach Bo Schembechler offered him a scholarship in the 1980s, Mallory didn't hesitate when offered the job. "There was no thinking about it," Mallory said with a laugh. "I took it on the spot." — Chris Balas The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview  ■ 49

Articles in this issue

view archives of Michigan Football Preview 2013 - 2013 Michigan Football Preview