April 13, 2017 Happy Birthday Geoff Steger!

Michgian Football Team 1974 | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Geoff Steger (#38) is shown above with the 1974 Big Ten Co-Champion Michigan Wolverine Football team. He is seated in the first row – fifth man from the right. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Today is a great day to wish a M Go Blue Happy Birthday to Geoff Steger. Geoffrey “Geoff” Steger was born on this day in Chicago, Illinois. Geoff grew up just north of Chicago in Winnetka, Illinois. He was an excellent athlete at Loyola Academy. He decided to continue his education and his football at Michigan.

Geoff arrived in Ann Arbor in 1970. He spent his freshman year learning the Schembechler version of Michigan Football. He hit the books and the practice field and did everything he could do to get ready for the 1971 football season.

Geoff Steger Michgian Football 1974 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Geoff Steger from the 1974 Michigan Media Guide. Not the greatest picture, but the best I could find! Photo courtesy of the 1974 Michigan Football Media Guide.

Steger’s hard work in 1970 paid off in 1971. He started three games at the “Wolf” position and recorded tackles in nine games. The hard-nosed Winnetka “Hit Man” had 23 solo takedowns and assisted on 6 more for a total of 29. He earned his first varsity letter in his first season on Bo’s varsity. Michigan finished the season with a record of 11 wins and 1 loss in 1971. They won the Big Ten Championship with a perfect record of 8 wins and 0 losses. It was a very good year for Geoff and for the Wolverines.

1972 Rose Bowl Program | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Geoff Steger was on the 1972 team that lost to Stanford by a score of 13-12. That one point loss was the only blemish on a season record of 11 wins and 1 defeat. Probably Bo’s best shot at a National Championship. Ugh! Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Geoff came back in 1972 looking to start more games and play a lot more football for Bo. Unfortunately, he broke his arm and sat out the entire season. Steger came back to play in 1973 and 1974 and contributed to two more championship seasons for his beloved Wolverines. He finished his career with 41 solo tackles and 10 assists for a total of 51 stops. He also intercepted his first pass against Colorado in 1974.

When his career was over, Geoff Steger, and his teammates, had accomplished an impressive body of work. Michigan’s record during the “Steger Years” was 41 wins and 3 losses and 1 tie.  Those impressive numbers helped produce four straight Big Ten titles.  Needless to say, Geoff Steger played a lot of good football on some outstanding Wolverine teams.

Of course, I couldn’t be writing about Geoff Steger today if he wasn’t associated with some Michigan football “firsts.” Here are the best ones that connect Geoff and Michigan football.

  • Geoff Steger played on the first Michigan Football team to play an eight-game conference season. It was also the first team to win eight conference games since Michigan went 8-0-0 that season and won the Big Ten Championship.
  • Steger played on the first Bo Schembechler team to win 10, then, 11 games in 1974.
  • Geoff played on the first, and only, team in Big Ten History to win a conference championship in each of the nine decades of conference competition in 1971.
  • Steger played in the first game ever against Colorado on September 21, 1974. Yes, Michigan won the game (31-0) and Geoff intercepted his first pass that day.

So, today is a great day to celebrate Geoff Steger and his contributions to the great history of Michigan football. I hope he has a great day today on his special day. Happy Birthday Geoff and Go Blue!

http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1974fbt.htm

 

 

 

 

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 138-year history of Wolverine Football. He is on a mission to share his findings with Maize and Blue football fans everywhere. He is the author of one book about Michigan Football titled "21-194-13 Michigan Football's Greatest Era". His second book titled, "The Legend of Bo Schembechler-How an Unknown Buckeye Became the Winningest Coach in Michigan Football History" was released on September 12, 2017. You can learn something about Michigan Football everyday by going to his website at: bigbluefootballhistory.com. You can also follow him on Social Media.
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