[ Michigan cheerleaders run on the field with large Block M flags before their football game against Ohio State on Saturday, November 28, 2015, in Ann Arbor.(Photo: Julian H. Gonzalez, DFP) ]

Jack Ford, son of Gerald and Betty Ford, represented the Ford Family as Gerald R. Ford’s University of Michigan football number was officially re-retired. Following former U of M Athletic Director Dave Brandon’s decision to make Ford’s number and other retired numbers part of the “legends” program, they were issued to current players to wear during the season.

Current Michigan AD Jim Hackett discontinued the program and the numbers were re-retired during The Ohio State University vs University of Michigan game in Ann Arbor at the Big House on November 28, 2015. Former Michigan wide receiver Desmond Howard also participated in the pre-game ceremony as his No. 21 was retired.

Including Ford’s No. 48, the other numbers were Tom Harmon’s No. 98, Ron Kramer’s No. 87, Bennie Oosterbaan’s No. 47 and also No. 11 which was worn by Albert, Alvin and Whitey Wistey.

Jack Ford attended the game with his family and recalled both his father’s stories of playing for the University of Michigan and attending the first time No. 48 was retired. Before Gerald R. Ford became the 38th President of the United States, he played linebacker and center for the Wolverines and was part of the 1932 and 1933 national championship teams.

“Sixty years ago, when I was on this field, I never dreamed I would be back here today with my number being retired,” Jack Ford remembers his father saying. Jack recalled learning and singing Michigan’s fight song at a young age while acknowledging that the University of Michigan meant so much to his father and the Ford family. The family connection to Michigan will continue, as Jack’s son Christian will join the Michigan lacrosse team next year.

To read more about Michigan’s number re-retirement, please visit: http://www.freep.com/story/sports/college/university-michigan/wolverines/2015/11/28/michigan-football-legends/76501918/

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