On Thursday, the Michigan Board of Regents approved the athletic department’s request to name the tunnel at Michigan Stadium after former head coach Lloyd Carr.
The school will officially dedicate the tunnel in Carr’s honor during a ceremony before the Oct. 15 game against Penn State.
Carr is the third-winningest coach in U-M football history, following Fielding Yost and Bo Schembechler. In Carr’s 13 seasons as head coach, the Wolverines went 122-40 and won the 1997 national championship. Carr also won five Big Ten titles and had six 10-win seasons.
“Lloyd Carr set a high standard as a coach and mentor,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in a released statement. “He was a great leader and an example for his players and staff. Lloyd was a teacher as much as he was a football coach, always looking to make a positive impact on the lives of his players. This is a well-deserved recognition for all that Lloyd has accomplished and contributed to this University. We are so happy to honor his impact and legacy at the University of Michigan in this way.”
During Thursday’s board meeting, Carr referred to the tunnel as “hallowed ground.” Not only is it the only entrance onto the field, from which the U-M players run out of to touch the “Go Blue” banner before every game, but students walk out of the tunnel onto the field for graduation ceremonies at the stadium.
Carr’s coaching career began after he earned a master’s degree from Northern Michigan and he was an assistant coach at Detroit Nativity High School in 1968. He had stints at Belleville and Westland Glenn in the 1970s before he was hired as an assistant at Eastern Michigan in 1976. Carr joined Gary Moeller’s staff at Illinois in 1978 then spent a summer at West Virginia before he was hired by Schembechler as Michigan’s defensive backs coach in 1980. He was the defensive coordinator at U-M from 1987-94 and was promoted to head coach after Moeller’s resignation.
“Lloyd Carr was one of the great coaches and leaders in college football,” said current U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh. “We are forever proud that he was our coach, ally and trusted friend. He was loyal to the University of Michigan and was committed to the development of his players as young men, citizens and football players. Lloyd personally helped me become a better player during my time at Michigan, expanding my knowledge by teaching me defensive coverages and tendencies when I was injured in 1984. That experience helped me throughout my playing career and shows his dedication to each player and the team’s overall success. It will be an honor to leave the locker room through the Lloyd Carr Tunnel on our way to the field every home game.”
Carr, 77, was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, National Football Foundation Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
Free Press reporter David Jesse contributed to this report.