1989 NCAA Title Team to Gather for 20-year Reunion

Dylan Burkhardt

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan Athletic Department will recognize the 1989 men’s basketball NCAA championship team during halftime of the Wolverines’ contest against Ohio State this Saturday (Jan. 17) at Crisler Arena.

As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, many team members that “Shocked the World” will be in attendance: Demetrius Calip (#13, Guard), Joe Czupek (Student Manager), Michael Griffin (#20, Forward), Sean Higgins (#24, Forward), Mark Hughes (#55, Center, Captain), Marc Koenig (#30, Guard), Terry Mills (#52, Forward), Dan Minert (Athletic Trainer), Glen Rice (#41, Forward, Captain, jersey honored, All-American), Eric Riley (#42, Center), Rumeal Robinson (#21, Guard, All-American), Greg Taylor (Student Manager) and Loy Vaught (#35, Center)

The 1988-89 Michigan squad went 30-7 overall and 12-6 in the Big Ten Conference. In NCAA Tournament play, the Wolverines defeated conference rival Illinois in the semifinal round. U-M then vanquished Seton Hall in the championship game in overtime behind the free-throw shooting of Rumeal Robinson. Glen Rice was integral to Michigan’s attack throughout the season and in the six-game tournament run. He was voted the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after netting an NCAA Tournament-record 184 points and went on to earn All-America honors.

In honor of the national championship team, the 2008-09 Wolverines will wear dark blue replica jerseys specially designed by adidas for the national championship 20-year anniversary. The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned to the public starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 14, until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20. Please go to MGoBlue.com and click on Michigan Online Auctions for details.

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  • Adam

    I’m coming up from Indiana with a couple buddies and can’t wait to see the team. I’ve had the chance to meet Coach Fisher and can’t say enough nice things about the guy. Obviously, we are all looking forward to the game and the ceremony. A win would be nice as well.

    I’m feeling a close/possibly painful loss Wednesday unfortunately, hopefully they can rebound on Saturday.

  • Giddings

    Interesting concept to auction off the game-worn jerseys. I wonder how much Ant’s jersey will go for?

    Ok, I admit, I might put in a bid…

  • Mason

    Wha, where’s Kirk Taylor? Or Chris Seter? Or Pelinka or Voskuil?

    I myself will put a bid in on the jersey of Mr. Puls.

  • BJ

    Will there be a Cronin jersey

  • So it just says jerseys, are they going to wear the current shorts with the throwback jerseys? I hope they have the old shorts with the white on the sides.

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  • Mason

    Let us all hope to some sort of higher power that, if they go retro shorts route, they are in fact the modern length. I have little desire to see the groin of Mr. Wright…

  • Giddings

    Highly doubt there will be a Cronin jersey, although maybe you’ll be able to bid on his game-worn pink or purple shirt/tie combo.

  • Kenny

    Should’ve had Steve fisher back on Saturday as well.

  • Voice of Reason

    Dylan: Any chance of a “Where are they now?” segment for this group?

  • SJWolv

    Just listened to the Beilein show on MGoBlue.com and Coach said he flew to Miami the day after the Indiana game. I thought he stayed in Indiana to check out Mitch McGary but it sounds like he went down to Florida to check out Timmy Jr.

  • Caelus

    A shame that Fish will not be there. I lost track, is he still coaching somewhere?

  • Gary

    Steve Fisher is head coach at San Diego State.


  • Gary

    I should have added to my previous post that I don’t think UM would ever invite him back given that he was head coach during the Martin payoff scandal that lead to the last 10+ years of basketball hell for Michigan. I don’t know exactly what his role was but he had to have known that something was going on

  • JimC

    That 89 team was a thrill to watch. Glen Rice “gorilla dunks”, Rumeal, Mills. I don’t know if Crisler was ever so loud…but I hope it is for the MSU game.

    Mason, that post is both disgusting, and hilarious.

  • michael

    Now I must wax nostalgic, having been a freshman during the 1989 title run and a senior during the Fab Five’s freshman year (when I would, as an upperclassman should, take their lunch money on a regular basis). For those of you not old enough to remember, there was a huge (mostly friendly) riot on State Street after the Final Four win over Illinois. My two most vivid memories were (a) being pulled up onto a rooftop and taking in thousands of delirious student celebrants (2) watching a fellow classmate shimmy across a traffic light wire. The police came in full force after the national championship game, and while celebratory, the atmosphere was more controlled and less euphoric. Some of you may recall that Illinois whooped are butts twice during the regular season, so the final four win over them was the crown jewel in that run. And, for the record, Glen Rice was not known for his monster dunks, but rather his sick (and I mean sick) 3 point stroke. I can’t imagine what he would have done in a Beilein offense. The unsung heroes of that championship run were Loy Vaught and Mark Hughes, getting some serious boards. I can’t believe 20 years have passed. Damn I’m old. Nice to see the program getting on its feet again. Great work, here Dylan. Thanks

  • KJay

    Illinois beat us 86-68 at Crisler in the last game of the regular season that year. Ran us off the court, at home no less.

    Then the Frieder fiasco, Fisher taking the job, and the remarkable tourney run. Some struggles against Xavier, a relatively easy win over S. Alabama (who had some guys nicknamed Bread and Peanut Butter or something like that), vanquishing North Carolina, the team that had knocked us out the two years prior, and then the pasting of Virginia.

    That Saturday night game against Illinois was one I’ll never forget, in part because I watched it so many times over and over on my VCR. “Higgins getting too flashy with the ball!” was Billy Packer’s cry when Sean spun around the Illini defender beyond the three point line on his way to an emphatic slam. His putback in the final seconds capped that improbable win over Gill, Anderson, Liberty, Hamilton & Lou Dou. The final seemed almost a foregone conclusion but Seton Hall had had its own improbable run, led by PJ, Morton, Ramon Ramos, and the Aussie Andrew Gaze. The foul Rumeal drew was questionable, as was his foul shooting, but somehow he came through in the ultimate pressure situation.

    One Shining Moment was never so sweet…Go Blue!

    • buddy

      Also my favorite moment….I’m NOT A FAN of Billy Packer! Higgin’s slam silenced “Mr.Know it all”

  • Gary, in your post you stated that the Martin scandal lead to the last 10 years of hell and I agree with that only partly. What many forget is that then AD Goss who mismanaged everything he touched, appointed B. Ellerbe head coach at a national power basketball program without even bothering to do a coaching search! Ellerbe was in no way qualified for such a prestigious job(UM was at that time) and had basically no connection to the school or program other than being hired as an assistant by Fisher. He had never coached a game at UM when appointed Head Coach by Goss. In my opinion, its hard to not think race played a hand in these events and if a competent, qualified coach had been hired UM would have at least remained competitive, even with all the negativity from the scandel. Just my opionion.


    That is all.

  • JB2

    In defense of Goss, the program was in a complete shambles in early ’08. And Ellerbe was only the interim coach for the duration of the season. Then UM won the Big 10 tourney and had a decent showing in the NCAA (first-round victory followed by a close loss to a good UCLA team). That’s when Goss hired Ellerbe as the permanent coach – a terrible move in retrospect, but not indefensible at the time.

  • UMDC

    I wish there was some real solid investigative accounting of what exactly went on back then. I’ve disliked Goss for a long time, but I really have no idea what the inside story is. There’s seems to have only been bits and pieces hear and there about everything that happened, seemingly not enough to draw any definitive conclusions from the outside looking in.

    Personally, I’ve always liked Fisher and thought that he was just the fall guy. The easiest way for the University to publicly appear to be doing something was to fire the head coach.

  • noahtahl

    talked at length with sean higgins about coach fisher, he lives in las vegas as I do, and he said the only thing that fisher was good at was breaking down film.

    strange how both fisher and ellerbe came in as interim coaches, had great runs in ncaa tourney during the interim, were hired and then fired over the same scandal.

    coincidentally I also spoke with ellerbe on a regular basis for about a month, he also lives in las vegas, and some of the secrets about fisher and college basketball would make you squirm.

  • Ky Fox

    Well we get to honor the last great team before s^%# hit the fan, our current boys get to rock some sweet throwbacks while we hopefully rock the bucks. Lets honor the good leave the bad and move on into the FUTURE of UM bball. Lets root JB on, in adding some more legit banners in the rafters!

  • KJay

    Czupek and Taylor were absolutely dynamic for that squad.

  • jmblue

    Hold on, JB2. The program absolutely was NOT in shambles in the fall of 1997, when Ellerbe got the interim job. We were one of the most popular programs in the country, only a few years removed from the Fab Five years. The Ed Martin scandal, at the time, appeared to have been resolved (the case would later be reopened). But Goss made two terrible mistakes:

    First, he inexplicably waited until October to fire Fisher, even though the NCAA report was released in August. By that time, no external hire was possible.

    Second, he made the even more inexplicable decision to promote Ellerbe, a brand-new assistant who had just been fired by tiny Loyola of Maryland, over Brian Dutcher and Scott Trost – two longtime assistants who had paid their dues, were well-liked by the players, and who were never found guilty of anything by the NCAA. Ellerbe had no local ties whatsoever, and was a complete stranger to the players.

    The rest is history. Ellerbe was no better at UM than he was at Loyola, and had no control over his program on or off the court. Our program collapsed under his watch. I don’t believe the same would’ve happened had we tabbed Dutcher or Trost (or better yet, fired Fisher in August, when it might have been possible to make an external hire).

  • jamie mac

    No mention of the 1988-89 Michigan Hoops season is complete without reminding folks the team lost in a December to a Div 3 school Alaska Anchorage in a post xmas holiday tournament.

    Otherwise they had an awesome season from start–winning the Maui Inv–to finish.

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