Jon Jansen: ‘So cool’ to be inducted in Michigan Hall
Jon Jansen grew up in Clawson with the goals shared by many youngsters — play college football and maybe also in the NFL.
Jansen did both, excelling at Michigan as a two-time captain, including the 1997 national championship year, before a lengthy NFL career with the Washington Redskins and a season with the Lions.
In recognition of his athletic achievements, Jansen will be inducted in the 2017 Michigan Sports Hall of Fame this fall. Joining Jansen induction class are: Free Press columnist/WJR host Mitch Albom, Oakland University basketball coach Greg Kampe, former Tigers manager Jim Leyland, former Michigan State quarterback and NFL official Dean Look, former MSU and NFL standout Andre Rison, seven-time NBA rebounding leader and former Detroit Piston Dennis Rodman, and Detroit native and former Michigan Fab Five member and 13-year NBA veteran Jalen Rose.
The class was selected by a group of sports journalists, select college and professional sports administrators, MSHOF members, the MSHOF Board of Directors and a public online vote. The Induction ceremony Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit
“My dream was always to play college football,” Jansen said Tuesday. “If I had that opportunity, my next dream was to play in the NFL. I never considered while I was playing the possibility of being in a Hall of Fame. When you leave the game, you start thinking about your legacy, what you meant to the game. To be mentioned in a group like this is a great honor.”
Jansen said his legacy at Michigan was his leadership and leaving the younger offensive linemen with a “blueprint” for how to lead.
“Part of my legacy was the leadership I brought to the team, not just being an offensive lineman but being a captain,” Jansen said. “Guys knew what to expect from me. I never minced words, never beat around the bush.”
Jansen has been nominated for the NFL Hall of Fame, but this will be his first Hall of Fame induction.
“It’s always nice to be recognized, especially from the offensive line position,” Jansen said. “No one talks about you unless you mess up. What this signifies is I’ve been part of some great offensive lines and had great coaches. Richard Moore (at Clawson), Mo (Gary Moeller) was my first coach at Michigan, then Lloyd (Carr), and Mike DeBord, Terry Malone and Bobby Morrison were my position coaches. They’re a great group of guys who gave me the opportunity to succeed.”
He is thrilled to be part of a class that includes players he watched as a youth and others he has admired along the way.
“Shoot, I grew up watching the Pistons and the Bad Boys and knew what they meant to Detroit,” Jansen said, referring to Rodman. “I grew up reading Mitch Albom in the paper. Obviously have a lot of respect for Jim Leyland and what he did in Detroit. Greg Kampe recruited my brother coming out of high school so I met him and got to know him a bit.
“For me, I’ll be looking around, and think this is so cool because I grew up when these guys were at their best.”
Tickets start at $25 and are available via “The Max” website at www.dso.org. Ticket buyers should click on the calendar date and follow the prompts. The Michigan Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization. For more information visit www.michigansportshof.org, follow @MichiganSportsHOF on Facebook, @MSHOF on Twitter, and @michigansports_HOF on Instagram.
In addition, the Hall will recognize four Michigan Treasures as part of its induction ceremonies:
■Dorene Ingalls: A four-sport athlete from the Upper Peninsula who has coached St. Ignace LaSalle High School to five State Champtions in girls’ basketball while confined to a wheelchair since 2005.
■Michigan Panthers: The 1983 United States Football League Champions.
■Dawn Riley: The Harrison Township native was the first woman to compete in the America’s Cup races.
■Ryan Shay: The Ypsilanti native won multiple distance running championships before passing away at the age of 28 during U.S. Olympic trials.