The late 1960s and early 1970s were a time of total turmoil in America-the country was being torn apart by a war most people didn’t support, young men were being taken away by the draft, and racial tensions were high. Nowhere was this turmoil more evident than on college campuses, the epicenters of the protest movement.
The uncertain times presented a challenge to two of the greatest football coaches of all time. Woody Hayes, the legendary archconservative coach of Ohio State, feared for the future of America. His protégé and rival, Bo Schembechler of the University of Michigan, didn’t want to be bothered by these “distractions.” Hayes worshipped General George S. Patton and was friends with President Richard Nixon. Schembechler befriended President Gerald Ford, a former captain and team MVP for the Wolverines.
In this enthralling book, Michael Rosenberg dramatically weaves the campus unrest and political upheaval into the story of Hayes and Schembechler. Their rivalry began with Schembechler arriving in protest-heavy Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the height of the Vietnam War. It ended with Hayes wondering what had happened to his country. War As They Knew It is a sobering and fascinating look at two iconic coaches and a different generation.