December 2, 2016: Happy Birthday Michigan Man Rob Doherty!

Michigan Football Team 1991 | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Rob Doherty (#70) shown here with the 1991 Michigan football team. He is the fifth player from the left in the second row. The 1991 Wolverines finished with a record of 10 wins, 2 losses and 0 ties. They won their fourth consecutive Big Ten Championship with a record of 8-0-0. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Today’s post celebrates the birthday of Michigan Man Rob Doherty. The talented Doherty came to Ann Arbor from Sterling Heights, Michigan. He was an All-State performer at offensive tackle at Adlai Stevenson High School and an excellent wrestler as well. He was good enough to earn a second team selection to USA Today’s All-American team in 1987.

Rob Doherty came to play football for Bo Schembechler. He enrolled at Michigan in 1988. Although he isn’t credited with any starts as a freshman he did earn a letter on a Big Ten championship football team.

Rob’s sophomore year was a lot like his freshman year. He didn’t earn any starts, but he did get enough playing time to letter on Bo’s last team. The Wolverines sent the Michigan coaching legend out with a perfect record of 8-0-0 in the Big Ten. There is no better way for a Wolverine football coach to go out than with back-to-back conference championships. Fielding Yost did it in 1925 and 1926 and Bo did it in 1988 and 1989. Although Rob Doherty wasn’t a starter, he was a back-up offensive lineman on two very good teams.

Gary Moeller’s first year as head coach (1990) was Rob Doherty’s third year as a player. Once again, Rob Doherty was playing well on the offensive line, just not well enough to earn any starts as a junior. Future All-Americans Dean Dingman and Greg Skrepenak were playing at a high level so Rob Doherty had to work hard and wait. Rob Doherty lettered again in 1990 and Michigan won their third consecutive Big Ten Championship. Football life may not have been great for Rob Doherty, but it was a pretty darn good time to be a Wolverine!

Rob Doherty’s hard work and patience finally paid off in 1991 when he started twelve games at right tackle. Michigan finished the season with an overall record of 10 wins, 2 losses and 0 ties. They ended the season with a ranking of number six in both the Associated Press and CNN/USA Today football polls. Oh, by the way, they won their fourth consecutive conference championship with another perfect record of 8-0-0.

Rob Doherty’s graduated from Michigan in 1992. He and his Wolverine teammates had an exceptional run in the last two years of Bo Schembecher’s tenure and the first two years of the Gary Moeller Era.

Michigan posted a record of 38 wins, 9 losses and 1 tie from 1988 to 1991. That works out to a winning percentage of just over eighty-percent (.802). Very impressive, but not as good as their Big Ten record for the same period. The Wolverines of the Class of 1992 absolutely dominated the conference with a record of 29 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie.  Their winning percentage over that four-year span was over ninety-percent (.922)! Wow – you can say that Rob Doherty played an important role on some outstanding Michigan football teams.

I hope that Rob Doherty has a great day celebrating his special day today. Happy Birthday Rob and thanks for your contributions to the great history of Michigan Football!  Go Blue!

Click the link below to learn more about the life and times of Rob Doherty and the 1991 Michigan football team. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Michigan_Wolverines_football_team

 

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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