Forty Years in The Big House
Forty Years in The Big House

Forty Years in The Big House

Michigan Tales from My Four Decades as a Wolverine
By Jon Falk, By Dan Ewald, Foreword by Jim Harbaugh


224 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF

Cloth, $24.95 (US $24.95) (CA $27.95)

ISBN 9781629370736

Rights: WOR

Triumph Books (Sep 2015)


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An inside look at the University of Michigan's football program from the man who was the team's equipment manager for more than four decades Forty years ago, Michigan equipment manager Jon Falk began his legacy, becoming a living encyclopedia of Michigan football tradition and history. Hired by Bo Schembechler in 1974, the now retired Falk shares his firsthand, inside stories from in the locker room, on the sideline, and on the road with one of college football's most storied institutions. He may not be as well known as the Big House or the Little Brown Jug, but among coaches, players, and a good portion of the Michigan football faithful, Jon Falk has fashioned a lively legend of his own. Falk's recollections connect the past and present to highlight the importance of the relationships created during the best four years of any college player's life and it's those relationships that drive the Wolverines to success.

Author Biography

Jon Falk is the now retired equipment manager for the University of Michigan football team. For four decades he embodied the team's traditions and history as a living encyclopedia, mentor, and friend to players, coaches, and proud alumni. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dan Ewald is a former newspaper writer and longtime public relations director for the Detroit Tigers. He is the author of 12 books, including works with Sparky Anderson, Bo Schembechler, Al Kaline, George Kell, and Ron Kramer. He lives in Troy, Michigan. Jim Harbaugh is a former Michigan quarterback who served as head coach of Stanford and the San Francisco 49ers before returning to Michigan as head coach. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Press Releases

Forty Years in the Big House:

Michigan Tales From My Four Decades as a Wolverine

By Jon Falk and Dan Ewald / Foreword by Jim Harbaugh

Contact: Samantha Frontera, Triumph Books, 312.324.8500,  


The University of Michigan holds a standard of excellence that encompasses the values of tradition, integrity, loyalty and commitment. Each of these attributes has made the university what it is today. Jon Falk, Equipment Manager for the University of Michigan Wolverines football team, has upheld these traits for 40 years. His long tenure earned him legendary status, as he knows the ins and outs of the Big House better than most players and coaches.


Forty Years in the Big House (Triumph Books, September 2015), by Jon Falk and Dan Ewald, is a compilation of exclusive interviews and firsthand accounts of the experiences of famous coaches and players. Jon Falk was only 23 years old when he arrived in Ann Arbor. He started a tradition of rubbing the players’ heads, patting their shoulder pads and telling them to “Play your best for Michigan” before every game. Those encouraging words undoubtedly played a role in many Wolverine victories. The university was Falk’s home, and the football program was his life. Falk had the privilege to work with highly regarded head coaches, including Bo, Moeller, Carr, Rodriguez and Hoke. Football fans will marvel in this behind-the-scenes look at Wolverine football history, including the following:


  • The close, personal relationship between Coach Bo Schembechler and Equipment Manager Jon Falk
  • Tom Brady’s fight for the quarterback position at the University of Michigan and how his training led him to the NFL
  • Falk’s last game as a Wolverine and what it means to touch the M GO BLUE banner before a game


Enlightening, uplifting and often heartwarming, Forty Years in the Big House affords readers a rare opportunity to see the game from the perspective of a man who took commitment to a new level. Jon Falk has made a positive lasting impact on the University of Michigan football.


About the Authors

Jon Falk is the now the retired Equipment Manager for the University of Michigan football team. For four decades, he embodied the team’s traditions and history as a living encyclopedia, mentor and friend to players, coaches and proud alumni.


Dan Ewald was the Detroit Tigers beat writer for the Detroit News before joining the ball club in l977 as its Public Relations Director.  He also served as Sparky Anderson's personal manager for 32 years.  Ewald is the author of 15 books with such sports notables such as Sparky, Bo Schembechler, Al Kaline and George Kell to mention a few. 


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