In a few weeks, Mark Donahue, Lorne Howes, Kate Johnson and Jon Urbanchek will join the likes of Gerald Ford, Bob Ufer, Bo Schembechler and more than 200 others who have changed the Michigan Athletic Department over the years.
Michigan announced Wednesday that it will induct the quartet into its Hall of Honor on Sept. 30. The Hall of Honor, established in 1978, recognizes figures who have made significant contributions to the Athletic Department in the form of national or conference championships, team captaincy or All-American or All-Conference honors.
Donahue, Howes, Johnson and Urbanchek will bring the total in the Hall to 217. Last year’s inductees were Lloyd Carr, Brent Lang, John Matchefts and Elise Ray.
Donahue played offensive guard for the Michigan football team from 1974 to 1977, winning three Big Ten championships under Bo Schembechler. He also earned All-America honors twice and started 35 games — which was, at that time, second in school history — as the Wolverines went 38-7 and reached two Rose Bowls.
Howes played hockey in the 1950s. As Michigan’s goalie, he led the Wolverines to national championships in 1955 and 1956. Those two were the last of Michigan’s five titles in six years under coach Vic Heyliger. In 1956, in his last career game, Howes played “most of the third period in severe pain resulting from a collision in the opening minute of the third stanza,” the Daily reported. He also played with bone chips in his elbow.
Johnson, a rower for Michigan, graduated in 2001. She won All-America honors three times and the Big Ten Rower of the Year award twice. Competing in the early years of Michigan rowing, Johnson was instrumental in the growth of the program. At the 2001 NCAA Championships, the Wolverines, in their fifth season as a varsity program, finished third.
“We had a national championship race in us,” she told the Daily at the time, but added, “My goal coming to Michigan was to set a tradition. I feel comfortable leaving now because I feel we have arrived.” Since then, the Wolverines have won three more Big Ten championships.
Urbanchek coached the Michigan men’s swimming and diving team to more than two decades of success from 1982 to 2004. He won 13 Big Ten titles — 10 straight from 1986 to 1995 — plus the 1995 national championship. He is already in the international swimming and state of Michigan sports Halls of Fame. And yet, in 2006, Urbanchek told the Daily, “The awards will all tarnish with age. But the memories will remain vivid throughout the years.”
All four inductees will bring back those memories when the University honors them during the Oct. 1 football game against Wisconsin, after a private ceremony Sept. 30.