COLLEGE PARK — As he was whisked into a cramped media room in SECU Stadium, Sherrone Moore looked the part of a guy who’d just made history.
Shouts of congratulations from road fans in the concourse squeaked past his entourage of support staff and into his ears as he was guided in, and as Michigan’s acting head coach got to his seat to face the media, some new bling came along with him. Sitting to Moore’s left was a brand-new hat spelling out what the historic occasion was for those who didn’t already know it — the hat featured a maize-outlined football that read ‘1,000’ across it.
So those congratulatory yells weren’t for just leading his Wolverines past an upset scare against Maryland, and the new merch wasn’t for remaining undefeated heading into The Game. What happened in Maryland, no matter how ugly of a win, resulted in a one-of-a-kind moment: Michigan became the first program in the NCAA to reach 1,000 wins.
“It’s historic, to be part of this university, this place, this team, so really cool just to be a part of it,” Moore said postgame. “The guys were just ecstatic to get that 1,000th win, but they all knew exactly what time it was right after that. They all know what’s ahead.”
In a game that had the makings of an upset, with Maryland hanging around late and Michigan’s offense sputtering, the outcome was anything but. Traveling to a road stadium half-filled with Michigan fans, the Wolverines brought with them more than just their team and staff, and more than just the new merch featured postgame.
They also brought signs commemorating 1,000 wins. Michigan’s bags were fully packed, it had prepared for a postgame celebration, and after what turned out to be a four-quarter struggle which suggested they might have jinxed it, the Wolverines got to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
After junior quarterback J.J. McCarthy took one final knee to end the game, the entire team came together on the field, posing with the signs they brought with them in a celebration they clearly thought was likely as they loaded their travel equipment. Some Michigan fans stormed the field too, trying to join in on the fun before Maryland’s public address announcer and security ordered them away.
While Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh missed out on the moment due to his suspension for the program’s alleged sign stealing, his players certainly didn’t. Some have been part of just the 11 wins from this season, others have wins accumulated over the last few years, but all of them can now stake claim to being part of the 1,000th.
Junior linebacker Christian Boivin, a primarily special teams contributor who blocked a punt against Maryland, was just as part of the celebration as anyone. He rocked a 1,000 wins shirt under his custom name-tagged blue collar workman shirt, a testament to the blue-collar mentality that goes into 1,000 wins.
Graduate linebacker Michael Barrett, playing in his sixth season at Michigan, arguably knows what 1,000 wins means better than anyone on the team. With the program since 2018, he’s become the winningest player in school history en route to the millennium mark.
“Being able to see the ups and downs of the program, being able to thrive through it and just being part of the winningest and being the winningest — it feels great,” Barrett said.
For players like senior running back Blake Corum, who has made individual history by climbing the ranks of Michigan’s rushing touchdown leaders, being part of the record books doesn’t ever get old.
“It’s a blessing to go down in history,” Corum said. “… This is going to go down in the books forever. It feels great to be part of not only a university but also a great team.”
From the top down, being part of Michigan’s 1,000th win gave the Wolverines plenty to be proud of after a game that featured little to celebrate. Moore was feeling that energy, too. Before being whisked back out of the presser and off to Ann Arbor, he shared that he was in a gift-giving mood.
The win had nothing to do with it — it was Moore’s daughter’s birthday. Moore got her wireless headphones, stuff for her kindle and plenty more, but the 1,000th win wasn’t included in the gift list because “she doesn’t care about that,” Moore quipped as he headed for the door.
While his daughter might not see 1,000 wins as a gift, the Michigan program certainly does. Thanks to Moore and his Wolverines’ grind-it-out win at Maryland, it can boast a claim no other program can.