GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Michigan football team continued its tour of Michigan on Friday with a pit stop at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh will lead Michigan football for his eighth season in the fall, but this is the first time he has taken his team to the Ford Museum.
Harbaugh wanted his team to learn about Gerald Ford, not just because he is a former president who played Michigan football, but because he believes Ford is the most distinguished Michigan alum ever.
Harbaugh says he is grateful his team is able to learn about a Michigan legend.
"It really goes back to all learning is not done in the classroom," Harbaugh said. "For us as a team, to be together, to learn, to get out of our comfort zone and go see things and connect in our own state, in the state of Michigan. It is such a phenomenal state. Everything you can imagine to do outdoors can be done here and learn about Gerald Ford. This is where our fan base is. It's a real blessing to have this opportunity to go around the state of Michigan."
Harbaugh also has a personal story with Ford.
When Harbaugh was 12 years old, he begged Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler to be his caddy for the Michigan Pro AM, where Ford was also golfing.
Schembechler said yes, and Harbaugh was able to spend the day with Schembechler and Ford on the golf course, and give him a memory he'll never forget.
"I carried around this big huge bag," Harbaugh said. "It was probably about as big as I was at the time. I remember what a gentleman President Ford was. Even though sometimes I was walking across the line or getting the flag when I was supposed to, they were all very nice to me. There were secret service in trees. They had machine guns in golf bags. I remember that like it was yesterday."
The Wolverines tour of Michigan continues on Saturday as the team will take some time off at the beach in Pere Marquette.
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