Today’s post celebrates the birth of Rob Renes who was an important part of Michigan Football history from 1995 to 1999. Rob Renes was born on this day in Holland, Michigan. He grew up to be an outstanding high school football player at West Ottawa High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After high school, he chose to play for Lloyd Carr’s Michigan Wolverines.
Rob Renes came to Ann Arbor in 1995 and Coach Carr decided to redshirt the promising freshman. He spent his first year getting stronger, learning “Michigan Football” and getting established in the classroom. He was listed on the 1995 Michigan Football Roster as a defensive lineman. Rob came back in 1996 to continue his growth and development at Michigan. He didn’t start any games that season, but he played enough to earn his first of four varsity letters.
After playing a small role on the 1996 team, Lloyd Carr decided that it was time for Rob Renes to step up. Boy, did he ever! Rob started all twelve games during Michigan’s perfect season in 1997. He became a big part of Michigan’s punishing defense. Of course, the Wolverines won the National championship that year and also claimed the Big Ten title. Rob earned the Dr. Arthur Robinson Award in 1997 for his outstanding work in the classroom. It was a BIG year for Michigan and for Rob Renes.
Rob continued to work hard in the classroom and in the weight room to get ready for the 1998 season. Michigan was not able to defend their national title, but they did win another Big Ten Championship in 1998. The Wolverines ended the season with a final record of 10 wins and 3 losses. They finished with a mark of 7-1-0 in the Big Ten. Rob Renes earned his second Robinson Award for his scholarly achievements and also won the Kick Katcher Award for his outstanding line play.
Rob Renes was honored by his teammates in 1999 by being named a Michigan Football Captain along with Tom Brady and Steve Hutchinson. The Wolverines continued to play excellent football in 1999 and finished with a record of 10 wins and 2 losses. Their conference record slipped little (6-2-0) which resulted in a tie for second place. Rob Renes won his second Katcher Award in 1999. His stellar play also earned him first team All-Conference, All-American and Academic All-American honors. Wow – not too many Michigan football players have excelled in the classroom and on the field like Rob Renes!
The Wolverines played some outstanding football when Rob Renes was the starting Nose Tackle. Michigan’s overall record during the “Renes Years” was 32 wins and 5 losses which works out to a winning percentage of just over eighty-six percent (.864). The Wolverines were even better in Big Ten play during this period. They posted a record of 21-3-0 which worked out to a winning rate of just over eighty-seven percent (.875). Oh by the way, they won a national championship (1997) and two conference championships (1997, 1998) and finished second in 1999.
Rob Renes was fortunate to be part of some outstanding football teams at Michigan. He also experienced a number of “Michigan Football Firsts” while playing for the Wolverines:
- Played on the Lloyd Carr’s first Big Ten Championship team in 1997.
- Rob was a key player on the first, and only, Michigan team to post a perfect record of 12-0-0 and win a National Championship.
- Renes played in the first game ever against Arkansas in Michigan’s 45-31 Citrus Bowl win on January 1, 1999.
- Played in the first game ever against Rice on 9/11/1999. Michigan won the game 37-3.
- Rob played in the first overtime game in Michigan Football History when the Wolverines defeated Alabama (35-34) in the 2000 Orange Bowl.
- Renes is the only player in Michigan Football History to win the Dr. Arthur Robinson Award (1997 and 1998) and the Dick Katcher Award (1998 and 1999) twice in a career. Very impressive!
The Rob Renes story is a tribute to hard work, selflessness, and team play. He did everything that Lloyd Carr and his coaches asked him to do and it paid off for him and for Michigan. Renes definitely left Ann Arbor with his head held high. He is one of the most decorated Wolverines to ever play on the Wolverine Defensive Line. Congratulations to Rob Renes for his outstanding contributions to the winningest program in college football history. Happy Birthday Rob. Please have a very Maize and Blue Happy Birthday today! Go Blue!
For more information on Rob Renes check out the following links: