88 Days: A Look Back At All-American Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich

With 88 days before the 2016 Michigan football season, we recognize  All-American Jim Mandich. The Cleveland, Ohio native with the nickname “Mad Dog”, played tight end at Michigan with some of his stats below:

  • 1967- (Sophmore) 25 passes starting in six games with 248 yards.
  • 1968- (Junior) started eight of ten games as a junior with 52 catches for 565 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Became the first team captain under new coach Bo Schembechler in 1969.
  • During his senior year as captain, Jim had 51 catches for 676 yards to complete the season as Big Ten Champions.
  • Finished his career at Michigan ranked second only behind Jack Clancy in career receptions and was inducted into the Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame (1994) and College Football Hall of Fame (2004).
  • Holds the Michigan record for receiving yards in a season with 662.

Jim was drafted in the 1970 second round to the Miami Dolphins playing there for eight seasons. He played another season with the Pittsburgh Steelers ending with the following stats/highlights:

  • Won three Super Bowl Championships (VII,VIII, XIII)
  • Won four AFC Championships (1971, 1972, 1973, 1978)
  • Appeared in 119 games
  • Receiving yards: 1,406
  • Receptions: 121
  • Average per catch: 11.6 yards
  • 23 touchdowns

After his professional career ended, he started working in sports radio from 1983 to 1987 hosting on WIOD AM. He also did color commentating for the Miami Dolphins and became known for his trademark soundbite, “All right, Miami!”

Jim passed away on April, 26, 2011 from cancer. He was an outstanding tight end with success in college and NFL.

Aside from being a successful football player, Jim was also a passionate angler as well that formed fishing tournaments to raise money for charity. A fishing tournament called the “Mad Dog Mandich Fishing Tournament” was created in his honor. The event held in Islamorada, Florida will celebrate their ninth year this October.

A quote from Jim in 2008 that stood out to me, after all his success and a few years before passing is below.

“I’ve played in a perfect season and Super Bowls. But I’m proudest of playing for the maize and blue.”

This just shows how much it meant to be part of something at Michigan under Bo, becoming his first captain, and a mindset that would stay with him and his magnetic personality.

David Noe