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'We know how it's been since the man left us': The graveyard walk to honor Michigan football history

By Liz Vukelich, Daily Sports Editor
Published November 27, 2013

He planned to use opportunity to tell the coach exactly what he meant to him, about how he impacted his life, about all the feelings he had surrounding Michigan football.

And when he told Schembechler all this, Schembechler just smiled.

“That’s the great thing about Michigan football,” Schembechler told him. “It transcends beyond the guys that play the game.”

Those words are why Holzhausen continues the graveyard walk. It’s why he’s not surprised when students and alumni spanning multiple generations showed up on Tuesday.

Margaret Anderson lives in New Hampshire. A graduate of the class of 1970 — and witness to the first meeting between Schembechler and former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes in 1969 — Anderson came on the walk with her grand nephew, a current student.

David Lectka, a freshmen, received a text from his father (“The biggest Michigan fan I know,” according to Lectka) that morning, encouraging him to check out the scene after seeing a post about it online.

There’s no agenda for the fans in attendance. In Forrest Hill Cemetery on Tuesday night, none of the media backlash or social media talk mattered. All anyone cared about was honoring the history. Respecting the past, Holzhausen said, “is the dollar that Dave Brandon can’t get from us.”

“Part of it is you hope, as silly as it sounds, you come out here and you connect with these guys and what they built, you hope maybe that that spirit spreads,” Fahmie said. “You hope that this is something that reminds people that if you stand behind the team, this team will always come back.”

Holzhausen will come back. He always does.