The tunnel at Michigan Stadium will be named for Lloyd Carr, the retired Hall of Fame and national champion head football coach for the Wolverines.
On Sept. 22, the Board of Regents approved naming the tunnel, which will be formally dedicated prior to the Penn State game Oct. 15.
Carr compiled a 122-40 overall record during his career and led the Wolverines to six 10-win seasons in 13 years leading the program from 1995-2007. He guided Michigan to the 1997 national championship and five Big Ten Conference crowns.
“Lloyd Carr set a high standard as a coach and mentor,” said Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “He was a great leader and an example for his players and staff. Lloyd was a teacher as much as he was a football coach, always looking to make a positive impact on the lives of his players.
“This is a well-deserved recognition for all that Lloyd has accomplished and contributed to this university. We are so happy to honor his impact and legacy at the University of Michigan in this way,” Manuel said.
“Lloyd Carr was one of the great coaches and leaders in college football,” said Jim Harbaugh, the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach. “We are forever proud that he was our coach, ally and trusted friend.
“He was loyal to the University of Michigan and was committed to the development of his players as young men, citizens and football players. Lloyd personally helped me become a better player during my time at Michigan, expanding my knowledge by teaching me defensive coverages and tendencies when I was injured in 1984. That experience helped me throughout my playing career and shows his dedication to each player and the team’s overall success. It will be an honor to leave the locker room through the Lloyd Carr Tunnel on our way to the field every home game.”
Carr thanked the board for the honor and thanked his family, coaching mentors, university presidents and, most of all, his players. He recalled the 95 years since the construction of the Big House that so many student athletes have run down the tunnel, determined to win for Michigan.
“In my mind, the tunnel to Michigan Stadium is hallowed ground,” he said.
Carr arrived at U-M as an assistant football coach, serving 15 years under Bo Schembechler (1980-89) and Gary Moeller (1990-94) before becoming the Wolverines’ head coach. His 120 victories trail only Fielding H. Yost (165-29-10) and his mentor, Schembechler (194-48-5), at Michigan.
Carr was even more impressive in Big Ten play, compiling an 81-23 mark. He became the eighth coach in Big Ten history and third in Michigan history, joining Yost and Schembechler, to claim five or more Big Ten titles (1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004). Carr’s teams finished in the top three of the conference standings for 11 straight seasons before his retirement in 2007.
Carr guided the school to a bowl game in each of his 13 seasons, with 11 of those appearances coming on New Year’s Day. He became the first Wolverine coach to win four straight bowl games, doing so with victories in the 2001 Citrus Bowl, 2000 Orange Bowl, 1999 Citrus Bowl and 1998 Rose Bowl games. Michigan was ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 for all but 14 of Carr’s 162 career games, including 65 appearances in the top 10.
In addition to his work on the football field, Carr’s legacy of excellence continued through his involvement with the university, community and coaching fraternity. He and his late wife, Laurie, championed many fundraising initiatives, including serving as co-chairs of the campaign to build a new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital in the fall of 2011.
They also endowed a scholarship awarded annually to a female student-athlete at U-M. Carr initiated the Women’s Football Academy and U-M Men’s Fantasy Football Experience, which donated all proceeds to the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also served on the NCAA Rules Committee and was a member of the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees.
Carr was inducted in the state of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
Carr becomes the fourth Michigan head football coach who won a national championship to have a building or part of a facility named after them on the Ross Athletic Campus: Oosterbaan Field House (Bennie Oosterbaan), Crisler Center (Herbert “Fritz” Crisler) and Yost Ice Arena (Yost). In addition, Schembechler, the winningest coach in school history, has his name affixed to Schembechler Hall, the performance and training facility for the Michigan football program.