ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In the lead-up to the rivalry game between Michigan and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh participated Tuesday in the annual pilgrimage to the graves of Michigan coaches Bo Schembechler and Fielding Yost and radio broadcaster Bob Ufer.
Once there, Harbaugh, a former Michigan quarterback, took a hammer to a buckeye nut, smashing it in front of the grave of Schembechler, his former coach.
"I first met him when I was 9 years old, when my dad coached here at Michigan," Harbaugh said of Schembechler, according to The Detroit News. "He was larger than life to our family.
"And getting to play for Coach Schembechler, what I can tell you is this: Everything I base my entire professional life on and my personal life was learned here at the University of Michigan," he continued. "It's rooted at the University of Michigan. It was experienced at the University of Michigan. And it's the team, the team, the team. We win as a team. Everybody does a little, and it adds up to a lot. When it came to honor, integrity, doing things at the highest level, Bo Schembechler set the standard.
"I draw daily inspiration from Coach Schembechler, like so many that knew him, anybody that knew him, anybody that was associated with him, anybody that played for him or anybody that coached with him; he set the standard at the very highest level. One of the greatest of all time, Bo Schembechler."
This will be Harbaugh's first Ohio State-Michigan game as coach. His quarterback for Saturday's showdown, Jake Rudock, also crushed a buckeye in front of Schembechler's grave after arriving toward the end of the event, according to The Detroit News.
On the walk through the cemetery, Harbaugh was accompanied by his father, Jack, and his 15-year-old daughter, Grace, as well as an estimated 200 fans and event organizer Jeffrey Holzhausen, The Detroit News reported.
The group sang the Michigan alma mater and fight song after paying respects at the graves.
Jack Harbaugh, who was an assistant to Schembechler, also addressed the crowd.
"Not a day went by in [Schembechler's] presence that you weren't motivated and moved by [him]," he said, according to The Detroit News. "Never once did he give a talk before a game that the hair didn't raise up on the back of my neck. He was such a motivator and such an inspiration."