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Bo Schembechler bust, championship ring donated for ChadTough event

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
A bust of Bo Schembechler will be auctioned during the ChadTough Gala.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has one. Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel does, as well.

And now a third is available to the highest bidder during the live auction of the ChadTough Foundation’s “Champions for Change” gala fundraiser Saturday night at the Crisler Center.

A bronze bust of legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler along with his 1972 Big Ten championship ring donated by his wife, Cathy Schembechler, to the ChadTough Foundation, will be auctioned together during the gala, which last year raised $1.2 million for research to discover treatment for pediatric brain cancer with an emphasis on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Tammi and Jason Carr lost their son, Chad, to DIPG on Nov. 23, 2015 and have worked to fund efforts to find a cure.

Chad Carr was the grandson of longtime Michigan football coach, Lloyd Carr, and UM All-American Tom Curtis.

More: ‘The smile of this team’: Portage Central’s Sophie Varney wages spirited battle against DIPG

Proceeds of the event benefit the foundation with half going to Michigan Medicine’s Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center. The gala will be co-chaired by John Beilein and his wife, Kathleen, and will honor Dick Vitale, who has raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancers, including DIPG. Dana Jacobson of CBS News and CBS Sports, and a Michigan alum, will be master of ceremonies.

This is Bo Schembechler's Big Ten championship ring from 1972.

While the bust is a remarkable likeness of Schembechler, the ring was his and was chosen because of its uniqueness. The top of the ring is shaped like Michigan Stadium.

Jim Brandstatter, who is Michigan’s play-by-play announcer and played for Schembechler, was asked by Cathy to help her select the ring for the auction.

“She said, ‘You don’t think Bo would mind us giving these away?’ I said, ‘Are you kidding me? The last thing he cared about is jewelry,’” Brandstatter said. “He wore his 'M' ring and that was it. If you told him today and he were alive and said you would be going to raise a boatload of money for the ChadTough Foundation and Lloyd Carr’s grandson, he would be the first guy to say, ‘What do you want? Here it is.’ We both agreed he would have no issues.”

Cathy sent Brandstatter pictures of the rings and asked which to donate.

“They all look pretty much the same, but the one that was unique and different to a degree was the ’72 ring,” Brandstatter said. “It has Schembechler on it, the record, and the winged helmet. The other rings are like class rings, but this is unique because the top part is the stadium with a Block M in the middle.”

That was Schembechler’s third season at Michigan.

“I said, ‘If you’re not emotionally attached, I think it would be a great gift for the ChadTough auction,’” Brandstatter said. “And she said, ‘That sounds like the one that would work.’”

There are a number of items anyone can bid on by visiting ChadTough.org, as well as information about the event.


Twitter: @chengelis