“I don’t see myself as anything special as far as what’s transpired here,” said Carr. “I was their coach and I tried to do things that would help inspire them to make a difference on and off the field, but I give them the credit. A lot of these guys now are married and have families, but they come back.

“I watch them at the hospital when they go and visit these kids and it’s emotional. There’s a lot of really tough things up there and they make a difference. They make these kids laugh and these kids get excited. They remember it.”

The former head coach went on to discuss how he became so heavily involved in helping to raise money for Mott.

“We’ve always had athletes going up to the hospital and I would be asked to go up and visit by friends or alums,” Carr stated. “Over time, I met some people at the hospital, but I guess the turning point for me was six or seven years ago. Doctor [Valerie] Castle invited me up for a tour of the old hospital. They knew that they desperately needed to build a new hospital and she was trying to generate some support in terms of activities and just getting the word out.

“I think that’s really the role that football and athletics has played as far as this hospital. We had a forum and a platform – for example with TKA, we take over the station for a day. And our athletes are constantly talking about some of their experiences. I think we have helped develop an awareness for the need for this hospital.”

With Brian Griese and Steve Hutchinson joining the effort several years back by creating the reunion and golf out, and Charles Woodson more recently helping to spearhead the effort, the goal of raising both money and awareness for the cause has increased dramatically. For their former head coach, it speaks not just to the value of athletics, but to the character of the people involved.

“It’s grown beyond anything I think we envisioned,” said Carr. “I’m so proud of the role that Michigan football played in that. And all the athletics, not just football. But this golf tournament, the guys come back to play and have fun, and I really think it’s been a great thing as far as interacting with alumni and friends of the university. There are a lot of guys that had great football careers and now people get to know them.

“I think there can be nobody that questions the value of athletics. I remember Bennie Oosterbaan asking Bo ‘what kind of team do you got here’ and he said ask in 20 or 15 years from now. When I look at what these guys are doing coming back here for something that is so positive, I know what kind of team they were.”

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