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That time Texas A&M tried to hire Bo

...Bright, the chairman of the board of regents, could put his money where his mouth was. He asked Gil Brandt, the Cowboys' vice president of player personnel, to find him the best college football coach money could buy. Brandt returned two names: Michigan coach Bo Schembechler and Pitt coach Jackie Sherrill.

Landing Schembechler would be a tough task. Bright called him and told him A&M would make him coach and athletic director, a position he didn't hold at Michigan, and money wasn't an issue. Schembechler politely declined.

A couple of weeks later, Michigan played UCLA in the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston, and Brandt called with a friendly offer for Bright to make the short trip up to Dallas to watch a Cowboys playoff game as his guest, according to Schembechler in his book, "Bo."

Brandt offered to have someone pick him up at the airport. To Schembechler's surprise, when he arrived, a short, stocky man with a crew cut was there waiting for him. "Bo," he said. "I'm Bum Bright."

Bright insisted they drive to his house, where he offered Schembechler, who was making $60,000 a year at Michigan, a 10-year contract worth $2.25 million. If he decided he didn't want to coach anymore, he could remain athletic director at the same salary. "Before you leave here tonight, we're gonna have ourselves a deal," Bright told him.

Schembechler held him off, and Michigan countered with a $25,000 raise, to $85,000 a year vs. the $225,000 at A&M. "Remember, we're talking money, two cars, membership at the country club, an expense account for entertaining," Bright called to remind him.

Schembechler eventually held a media conference to announce that he would be staying at Michigan. On his way to speak, Schembechler saw Michigan booster Tom Monaghan, the owner of Domino's, who sweetened the pot, gifting Schembechler a Domino's franchise -- in Columbus, Ohio, on the Ohio State campus.

"In one night, I'd turned down millions and gained a pizza store in Woody Hayes' backyard," Schembechler said.


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