20 Days: A Look Back At All-Big Ten Mike Hart

With only 20 days until Michigan football returns on September 3, we look back at All-Big Ten running back, Mike Hart. The New York native came to Michigan and produced quickly by earning the Big Ten Player of Year award. Below are his highlights and achievements:


  • In the 2004 season, Hart set a Michigan record for most rushing yards in a season by a freshman with 1,455. He rushed for nine touchdowns and had 26 receptions for 237 yards and a touchdown catch.
  • For the 2005 season as a sophomore, Hart missed significant time due to a hamstring injury.
  • During the 2006 season, Hart rushed for 1,562 yards – the fifth-best season total in Michigan history – and 14 touchdowns.
  • He also caught 17 passes for 125 yards in 2006. For his efforts, Hart was recognized as his team’s co-MVP with linebacker David Harris.
  • As a senior in the 2007 season, Hart was elected team captain along with offensive tackle Jake Long and linebacker Shawn Crable.
  • Hart finished his senior season with 1,361 yards and 14 touchdowns.
  • After his last game with Michigan State, Hart referred to Michigan’s in-state rival as the teams “little brother”, triggering an angry reaction from Michigan State’s coach, Mark Dantonio. This name for them has stayed being used still today
  • In his career playing 43 games, Hart rushed 1,015 times for 5,040 yards; both marks are school records. His 41 career rushing touchdowns are third-best in Michigan history. Hart’s 28 career games with at least 100 yards rushing and 5 games with at least 200 yards rushing are each the most in Michigan history.
  • Hart lost three fumbles in his college career.
  • In the 2008 Capital One Bowl game, Hart also passed the 5,000 yard rushing mark for his career, becoming only the fourth player in Big Ten history to do so.

College Awards and Recognition 

  • 2006 Doak Walker Award finalist
  • 2006 Maxwell Award semifinalist
  • 2006 Walter Camp Award watchlist
  • 2006 Heisman Trophy fifth place
  • 2007 Maxwell Award semifinalist
  • 2007 Doak Walker Award finalist
  • 2004 All-Big Ten Conference First Team (coaches and media)
  • 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year (coaches and media)
  • 2006 All-Big Ten Conference First Team (coaches and media, unanimous)
  • 2007 Big Ten Preseason Offensive Player of the Year (media)
  • 2007 All-Big Ten Conference First Team (coaches and media)


  • Hart was selected in the sixth round (202nd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Hart saw little action during the 2008 season, rushing for nine yards on two carries.
  • During the second quarter of the Colts victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6, Hart sustained a knee injury on an 18-yard reception from Peyton Manning. On October 15, Hart was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.
  • Hart was released by the Colts on July 26, 2011.


  • In August 2011, Hart had accepted a job at Eastern Michigan University as the offensive quality control coach for the Eastern Michigan Eagles football team.
  • He served in that capacity for the 2011 season and then for two seasons, 2012 and 2013, as the team’s running backs coach.
  • On February 4, 2014, Hart was announced as the running backs coach at Western Michigan University.
  • On January 4, 2016 he was announced as the new running backs coach at Syracuse University.
  • His coaching by team: Eastern Michigan
    (offensive quality control) (2011), Eastern Michigan
    (running backs coach) (2012–2013), Western Michigan
    (running backs coach) (2014–2015), Syracuse
    (running backs coach) (2016–present).

Go Blue!

David Noe