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Ed Meads recalls days at U-M

New book features memories from Michigan players

September 07, 2005 - A new book paying homage to University of Michigan football contains the memories of an Oxford man who made his mark as a Wolverine in the 1950s.

Dr. Ed Meads, a 1952 graduate of Oxford High School, is one of 80 former Michigan players and coaches whose gridiron recollections were committed to paper in "What It Means to Be a Wolverine" edited by Kevin Allen, Nate Brown and Art Regner.

Published by the Chicago-based Triumph Books, the 362-page tome gets at the essence of what it means to be a "Michigan Man" by giving readers an intimate look inside the U-M football tradition through the words of the legendary men who lived it and helped build it.

Divided into eight sections according to decades, the book begins with the 1930s when former U.S. President Gerald Ford played center and ends with the "New Millennium" and current Head Coach Lloyd Carr.

"What It Means to Be a Wolverine" is available in bookstores. One of the book's sections features former Michigan guard Ed Meads, a 1952 graduate of Oxford High. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.
It's in the section devoted to the 1950s that readers will find four pages (85-88) dedicated to Mead's memories and a photo from his playing days as a guard under Head Coach Bennie Oosterbaan from 1953-1955.

The son of Dr. G.E. Meads, an Oxford dentist and 1927 Michigan graduate, Meads began his U-M football career as a 9th or 10th string player. He worked his way up to third string as a sophomore and finally became a starter in his junior year.

"And when I became a captain as a senior, it surpassed my wildest expectations and dreams," Meads was quoted as saying in the book.

So how did it feel to be a small town kid playing college football for a major university?

"To go from Oxford, Michigan, to play football in that big stadium was overwhelmingly initially. But after you play there once or twice, you tune that out," said Meads, according to the book.

After graduating Michigan, Meads went to medical school in Canada and played two more seasons of college football for the University of Western Ontario as a middle linebacker.

"You could still compete as long as you were working toward a degree," Meads said.

Meads later served a tour of duty as a combat doctor during the Vietnam War.

Today, he's a retired physician who divides his time between homes in London, Ontario and Florida.

Although his days wearing the famed winged helmet and Number 76 maize and blue jersey were a half-century ago, Meads admitted in the book, "I still get pumped up about football in the fall. I have had Michigan season tickets since I graduated."

"You never lose your connection to the University of Michigan."

For more information about "What It Means to Be a Wolverine" ($27.95) go to

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader.
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