Today is a great day to wish a Happy Birthday to Michigan Man Dave Molk. According to the 2011 Michigan Football Media Guide, David Michael “Dave” Molk was born on this day in Palos Hills, Illinois. He grew up to be an outstanding football player (Center) at Lemont Township High School in Illinois. He was a four-year letterman in high school and served as team captain in his senior year. Dave Molk had lots of offers to play college football, but he chose Lloyd Carr’s Michigan Wolverines.
Dave arrived in Ann Arbor in the fall of 2007. He burned his red-shirt during his freshman year. So, he did not play and he did not letter on Lloyd Carr’s last Michigan team. Of course, Coach Carr retired at the end of the 2007 season. Molk would have to impress Coach Rich Rodriguez if he wanted to play center at Michigan.
The 2008 season was one of “good” news and “bad” news for Dave Molk. The “good” news was that he started twelve games at center and earned his first varsity letter. The “bad” news was that Michigan ended the season with a record of 3 wins and 9 losses. Yes, it was ugly!
Dave started four games in 2009, but missed the last eight games of the season because of a knee injury. The Wolverines could have used him since they continued to struggle on the field. Michigan won the first four games and then pretty much fell apart in the Big Ten portion of their schedule. Coach Rodriguez saw his team finish the season with a record of 5 wins and 7 losses. Unfortunately, they set a record for Big Ten futility at Michigan with a final conference record of 1 wins and 7 losses. Ouch!
Dave Molk was healthy again in 2010. He started all thirteen games and earned another letter. He was named the Co-winner of the Hugh R. Rader Memorial Award for the top Wolverine offensive lineman. Molk also earned first team All-Big Ten recognition for his outstanding play. The Wolverines finished the season with a winning record for the first, and only, time in the Rodriguez Era. Michigan posted a final record of 7 wins and 6 losses after a blow-out loss (14-52) to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.
Unfortunately, Dave would play for his third head coach in five years after Coach Rodriguez was fired in January 2011. Brady Hoke was a breath of fresh air for most Michigan players.
Molk’s fifth year at Michigan turned out to be something special. First, he served as one of Brady Hokes’s first three captains (along with Kevin Koger and Mike Martin). Second, he was the leader of Michigan’s offensive line that produced two 1,000-yard rushers (Denard Robinson and Fitz Toussaint) for the first time since 1975. Third, he earned All-Conference honors for the second straight season and was also named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. Fourth, he was named a consensus first team All-American. Finally, he was named the winner of the Rimington Trophy as the top center in all of college football for 2011.
In addition to playing some good football for Michigan, Dave Molk was part of some interesting Michigan Football “firsts.” Here they are:
- Dave Molk played on the first Rich Rodriguez team in 2008.
- Molk played on the first, and only, 7-loss Big Ten season (1-7-0) in Michigan Football History (2009).
- Dave Molk played on the first Brady Hoke team in 2011 and was one of Hoke’s first captains.
- Molk became the first Michigan center to be a Rimington Award finalist for two consecutive seasons (2010 and 2011). He became the second Wolverine to win the award in 2011.
- Dave Molk played on the first Michigan Football team to win the Sugar Bowl in January 2012.
Dave Molk earned four varsity letters, started forty-one games, and helped open up a ton of holes for Denard Robinson and Fitz Toussaint. He left as a Sugar Bowl Champion. Yes, his Michigan career had some “ups” and “downs,” but it turned out just fine. Dave Molk did everything his coaches asked and kept working hard right up until his last play at Michigan!
Happy Birthday Dave Molk. I hope you have a great time on your special day. Thanks for the memories. Go Blue!