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Former Michigan athletic director Joe Roberson died at his home Monday in Grand Blanc, the University of Michigan announced Tuesday.

He was 84.

Roberson was Michigan's eighth athletic director and held that role from 1994-97 before retiring in August 1997 following 31 years of service at UM.

Michigan athletic teams won 20 conference championships during his tenure, but Roberson is best known for hiring Lloyd Carr as head football coach in 1995. Two years later, Carr led Michigan to the national championship.

Two other Michigan teams won national championships during his tenure, as men's swimming and diving took home the title in 1995 and ice hockey claimed the title in 1996 (and again in 1998).

"The loss of Joe Roberson marks an especially sad day for me," Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. "Joe hired me here at the University of Michigan when I returned to Ann Arbor to get my doctorate. He could be considered my first major mentor.

"He believed in the student-athlete model with 'student' as the most important factor in participation. When Joe spoke, he did not mince words; he was straightforward and fair. Michigan is grateful for his service and so am I. He will be missed by me and by many."

Visitation hours will take place Friday, Jan. 17 from 4-7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 18, at 11 a.m. at Hill Funeral Home in Grand Blanc (11723 South Saginaw St.).

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