Bo Schembechler's Rose Bowl record was incorrectly listed in Thursday's editions. He is 2-7. (Published 12/15/89)

Bo Schembechler, the irascible head football coach at Michigan for the last 21 years, said yesterday he will retire at the end of this season for health reasons. Schembechler, 60, will hand the Michigan team he built into a colossus over to chief assistant Gary Moeller, while remaining as athletic director. Schembechler, the winningest active head coach in NCAA Division I-A, said at a news conference on the Ann Arbor, Mich., campus that he will coach his final game on Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl, when the No. 3 Wolverines (10-1) meet Southern California (8-3). Schembechler suffered heart attacks in 1970 and 1987 that resulted in open heart surgery. Doctors frequently have advised the coach, whose sideline tantrums are legendary, to adopt a less stressful lifestyle. "The primary reason for me stepping down at this time is that I don't want to run my luck too far," he said. "I've been fortunate to coach for 20 years after a heart attack. I just think that at 60 years of age, it's time to step down." Moeller, his longtime assistant and Michigan's defensive coordinator, will take over on Jan. 2. Schembechler said he was uncertain how long he would remain as athletic director, a post he took in 1988 when Don Canham retired. He expressed concern that his continuing presence could undermine Moeller, who becomes responsible for perpetuating one of the richest and most popular programs in the country while under the gaze of the man who took it to that level. "I'm not sure it's in the best interest of Michigan or the program or myself or Gary Moeller for me to be hanging around," Schembechler said. "It might be pretty difficult for me to sit in the athletic director's chair. I'd want to go to practice, and I don't think I should do that." Moeller agreed it will be difficult replacing a coach who has personified Michigan football for two decades, but said, "Obviously, it is a very, very happy day in my life. . . . I know it's hard when you're going to follow Bo Schembechler. . . . It's going to be a tough act to follow, but we're up to the work, I believe." Schembechler has been assisted in juggling the jobs of football coach and athletic director by associate athletic director Jack Weidenbach, in charge of daily operations, but Weidenbach is nearing retirement age, one reason for Schembechler's decision to devote full time to the directorship. He retires never having experienced a losing season in the six he spent at Miami of Ohio, his alma mater, and his 21 at Michigan. His career record is 234-64-8. He is the most successful coach in Michigan history (194-47-5), and his Wolverines have been ranked in the top 10 nationally 15 times and won 13 Big Ten titles. He is fifth on the all-time victory list with just four fewer than his mentor, Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes. But a national championship has eluded him. The Wolverines finished No. 2 in 1985 after defeating Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl. They were ranked No. 1 before this season, but lost their opening game to Notre Dame. They have won 10 straight games since, but have only a slight chance of claiming the title should they beat USC; No. 1 Colorado and No. 2 Miami would have to lose in their bowl games before Michigan is considered. Schembechler will take the Wolverines to the Rose Bowl for the 10th time, and third in the past four years. However, he has just a 1-8 record in that postseason game. He has often said that although he desired a national championship, he did not hold it in as much esteem as the Big Ten championship and the Rose Bowl. "If you think my career has been a failure because I've never won a national title, you have another think coming," he said recently. His outspokenness is not likely to abate with his retirement. He always has aired his views freely, whether on academic standards, officiating or the competition. He was a blunt, loud, argumentative coach, but always worthy of respect. Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz said, jokingly: "You didn't always agree with Bo. But you never got the chance to say you didn't." Holtz also said, more seriously: "Not only is he a great coach today, but he's one of the greatest of all time. I'm going to miss Bo." "If he didn't have an all-American, he'd get a guy to play like one," said Anthony Carter, an all-pro wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings and a three-time all-American for Schembechler at Michigan. "He is a fun guy, a good guy, a guy you didn't mind playing for." Ohio State Coach John Cooper said Schembechler had mentioned retirement when they talked before the Wolverines defeated the arch rival Buckeyes this fall in Columbus, Ohio. Cooper said he's "glad" Schembechler made the decision to step down, relax and preserve his health, but added the decision makes him happy for a more selfish reason. "Regardless of who they get, if it's Gary Moeller, he's not Bo Schembechler. . . . I think a lot of high school football players thinking about Michigan might have second thoughts." Schembechler first made his intentions known while talking to a sociology class Monday night. He told students he wouldn't move into the new head coach's office in $12.5 million Center of Champions, an athletic complex to be completed next autumn. He also told the class Moeller would be the next head coach. Moeller, 48, has spent 18 years as an assistant to Schembechler at Miami of Ohio and Michigan, with the exception of three years spent as head coach at Illinois. He didn't succeed there and was released from his contract with a 6-24-3 record. In 1987 he was Michigan's head coach for a game, while Schembechler recovered from bypass surgery. He directed the Wolverines to a 28-24 victory over Alabama in the Hall of Fame Bowl. ----- TOP ACTIVE COACHES ----- -- (DIV. I; RANKED BY WINS) -- Coach, school................W Bo Schembechler, Mich. ....234 Joe Paterno, Penn St.......219 Bobby Bowden, Fla. St......194 Jerry Claiborne, Ky........179 Hayden Fry, Iowa...........171 Tom Osborne, Neb...........168 LaVelle Edwards, BYU.......165 Grant Teaff, Baylor........150 Bill Dooley, W. Forest.....147 Lou Holtz, N. Dame.........152 ------ SCHEMBECHLER'S RECORD ------ ---------- AT MICHIGAN ----------- Yr......W....L....T....Pct.....Rk. 1969.... 8....3....0.....727....9 1970.... 9....1....0.....900....9 1971....11....1....0.....917....6 1972....10....1....0.....909....8 1973....10....0....1.....955....6 1974....10....1....0.....909....3 1975.... 8....2....2.....750....8 1976....10....2....0.....833....3 1977....10....2....0.....833....9 1978....10....2....0.....833....5 1979.... 8....4....0.....667...18 1980....10....2....0.....833....4 1981.... 9....3....0.....750...12 1982.... 8....4....0.....667...15 1983.... 9....3....0.....750....9 1984.... 6....6....0.....500...NR 1985....10....1....1.....875....2 1986....11....2....0.....846....8 1987.... 8....4....0.....667...19 1988.... 9....2....1.....792....4 1989....10....1....0.....909....3 Totals..194..47....5... .799 Career..234..64....8... .778