Today’s post celebrates the happy birthday of Michigan Man Zac Ciullo. According to the 2009 Michigan Football Media Guide, Zachary Alexander Ciullo was born on this day in 1988. He grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Zac attended Brother Rice High School and graduated in 2007. Ciullo was an outstanding athlete and was a starting lineman for two years on a team that won the state championship. He also earned three varsity letters in Lacrosse. Zac was also a star in the classroom because he was a member of the National Honor Society.
Zac Ciullo arrived in Ann Arbor for the 2007 football season. He did not see any game action in 2007, but did earn recognition from the Michigan Athletic Department for outstanding Academic Achievement during his freshman year.
The big news for the 2008 season was that Rich Rodriguez was Michigan’s new Head Football coach. Zac would have to learn a whole new offensive system since Rodriquez ran the “Spread.” Of course, the 2008 system was a disaster for Coach Rodriguez and the Wolverines. Michigan set a record for the most losses in one season with a dismal record of 3 wins and 9 losses. It was even less fun for Zac Ciullo since he didn’t earn any starts or a varsity letter.
Zac’s junior year (2009) was a lot like the first two seasons. He didn’t play a down and he didn’t play a down. Michigan continued to struggle, but they did see some small improvements. The Wolverines had their second straight losing season, but did manage to win five games and lose seven.
Zac Ciullo came back for his senior season in 2010. Things got a little better as the Wolverines posted their first, and only, winning season under Coach Rodriguez (7 wins and 6 losses). According to the Michigan Athletic Department archives, Zac did not earn a letter during the 2010 season. Coach Rich Rodriguez was fired in early January 2011 and Brady Hoke was named to replace the beleaguered Wolverine coach. Although Zac Ciullo still had one year of eligibility remaining, he kind of got lost in the coaching transition. Unfortunately, Zac Ciullo did not have the opportunity to play for Brady Hoke as a fifth-year senior.
I am sure that Zac Ciullo’s Michigan Football career did not turn out as he had hoped or planned. Hopefully, he finished his degree on time and moved on to the next chapter. Although everyone who comes to Michigan was a “star” in high school, not everyone leaves the Wolverine Football program with that designation.
So, it appears that Zac Ciullo’s Michigan Football career had some “ups” and “downs.” However, he is connected to some interesting “firsts” that connect him to the Michigan Football program.
· Zac Ciullo was on the first Rich Rodriguez team in 2008
· Ciullo was on the first, and only, 9 loss team (3-9-0) in Michigan football history (2008).
· Zac Ciullo was on the first Michigan team to play Toledo (2008) and Delaware State (2009).
So, today is a good day to remember Zac Ciullo. He played at Michigan during one of the most difficult periods in Wolverine Football history. To his credit, Zac stayed and did everything his coaches asked him to do. I appreciate his contributions to the great history that is Michigan football. I hope Zac Ciullo has a very happy birthday today! Go Blue!