January 6, 2017 Rest in Peace Mike Shatusky!

Michigan Football Team 1957 | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Mike Shatusky (#14) pictured here with the 1957 Michigan Football team that finished with a record of 5 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie. Shatusky is the first man on the right in the second row. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Today’s post celebrates the memory of Mike Shatusky who went to rest in peace on this day in 2013. Michael “Mike” Shatusky was the pride of Menominee, Michigan. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War. When he returned home, Shatusky went to Ann Arbor to use his G.I Bill education benefits and play football for Coach Bennie Oosterbaan.

Mike Shatusky’s name first showed up on the 1954 Michigan Football Roster. He was listed as a freshman halfback, but did not have a number that season. Like other freshman in the 1950’s, he would spend his time hitting the books and getting hit on the freshman squad.

Mike’s name showed up again on the 1955 team roster. He came back for more, but only played a “reserve” role on the seventy-sixth team in Michigan football history. Shatusky did not earn a letter in his second year at Michigan. 

Shatusky’s hard work and dedication finally paid off in 1956. He didn’t start any games that season, but he got on the field and showed Coach Oosterbaan what he could do.  Mike scored two crucial touchdowns in Michigan’s narrow victory (17-14) at Iowa. The Wolverines finished the 1956 season with a record of 7 wins and 2 losses. They posted 5 wins and 2 losses in the Big Ten which earned them a second-place finish. The best news for Mike Shatusky was that he played enough football to earn his first varsity letter at Michigan!

Mike Shatusky’s senior year was his best season even though Michigan did not win as many games as expected in 1957. Mike started six games at right halfback and earned his second letter. Unfortunately, the Wolverines slipped to a record of 5 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie. They finished sixth in the Big Ten that year with a record of 3-3-1.

Mike Shatusky 1957 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Mike Shatusky in action against Michigan State in 1956. This was the first game in Michigan football history with a crowd of over one-hundred thousand people in attendance. Officially, it was listed at 101,001. Michigan State won the historic game by a score of 9-0. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

There are two final things of note about Mike Shatusky. First, Mike Shatusky played in the first game in the history of Michigan Football with over one-hundred-thousand people (101,001) in Michigan Stadium on October 6, 1956. Michigan State won that game by a score of 9-0. So, it was not a good day for Wolverine Nation. Second, Mike Shatusky was one of the best athletes to come out of the Upper Peninsula. He was a five-sport letterman at Menominee High School (football, basketball, tennis, golf and track). He earned all-state honors in football. Mike’s impressive athletic accomplishments in high school, and at Michigan, earned him a place in the Michigan Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

So, today is a good day to remember another Michigan Man named Mike Shatusky. He earned two varsity letters and helped Michigan win twenty-five games during his four-year association with Wolverine football. His service to our country during the Korean War and his service to the Ann Arbor community were equally impressive. Fortunately, Mike Shatusky was on this earth for eighty-two years. As you will see from the articles linked below, he did a lot of “living” in those years. Thanks to Mike Shatusky for showing people how a true “Michigan Man” lives his life! May he always rest in peace. Go Blue!

http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1957fbt.htm

http://obits.mlive.com/obituaries/annarbor/obituary.aspx?pid=162285801

http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/102909aac.html

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.
3 Comments
  1. Mr Lynn R Evans

    Great story on Michigan football and Mike Shatusky. I was football manager for the team during these years and Senior Manager in 1957. I later became President of the M Club(Varsity letters winners) and served on the Athletic Advisory Board for 6 years as the alumni rep. Mike and I remained friends for all his years and I remain good friends today with his wife Jan. I continue to be close to UM today as I have missed 2 home games in the last 62 years. I also have basketball season tickets. Great story….keep up the good work. PS I am the guy in the third row in the suit in the 1957 team picture

    March 13, 2017 at 8:39 pm - Reply
    • Barry Gallagher

      Hi Lynn,
      Thanks so much for the feedback/comments. Wow, Mike Shatusky was one of my favorites growing up. He sounds like a good man to know! I am glad that a dedicated Michigan Man like you appreciates my work. Bo Schembechler god me “addicted” to Michigan football history when I got to know him during my time as a ROTC instructor at UM (1985-1989). I would like to take you to lunch some time when I am in town. Actually, I will be in Ann Arbor in early April, so let me know!

      Go Blue,

      Barry

      March 14, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply
  2. Mr Lynn R Evans

    Great story on Michigan football and Mike Shatusky. I was one of the football managers for the team during that period and Senior Manager in 1957.. I later became President of the M Club(varsity letters winners) and served on the Atletic Department Advisory Board for 6 years as the alumni rep. Mike and I remained friends for all his lifetime and I remain good friends with his wife Jan. I remain close with UM today as I have missed two home games in 62 years(50th wedding ann. trip to Europe) 5 years ago and also continue to have season basketball tickets today. Great story….keep up the good work. Go Blue Lynn R. Evans BBA, MBA 1959 PS I am the guy in the third row with the suit in the 1957 team picture

    March 13, 2017 at 8:51 pm - Reply

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.