Date of Birth
Washington State University (1985-1988)
Just the second Consensus First Team All-American in Washington State history, Mike Utley is considered the most decorated player in the school’s football annals. He becomes the fourth Cougar player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame. A three-time All-Pac-10 selection, Utley earned First Team accolades in 1988 after leading Washington State to its best record in 58 years and a triumphed in the Aloha Bowl, which marked the school’s first postseason win since 1916. He was named team MVP as a senior after anchoring one of the most prolific offenses in school history, including 3,000-yard passer Timm Rosenbach and two 1,000-yard rushers. Utley led the Cougars to their first-ever win against a No. 1 team in 1988 against UCLA, and he guided an offense that led the Pac-10 and ranked third nationally in total offense. After starting a then school-record 43-straight games, Utley was invited to the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game. He was inducted into the Washington State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004, and the team’s Offensive Lineman of the Year Award carries his name. Taken in the third round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, Utley played three seasons in the NFL before suffering from spinal cord injuries that left him paralyzed from the chest and elbows down. He has since regained the use of his shoulders, arms and hands, and even has partial movement in his legs. The Lions renamed their Spirit Award as the Mike Utley Spirit Award in his honor. He received the WSU Alumni Achievement Award in 2007 and the Walter Camp Man of the Year Award in 2006. Since his paralysis, Utley has won dozens of awards for community service and his work with those suffering from spinal cord injuries. He established the Mike Utley Foundation in 1992, which provides research, rehab and education for those living with spinal cord injuries and financially supports rehabilitation projects as well as patient/family assistance programs. Utley provides three scholarships for patients at Detroit Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, and he founded the Mike Utley Rehabilitation Scholarship Program. He also established the Mike Utley Center for Human Performance in Detroit.
- 1988 All-Conference
- 1988 Consensus All-America
Class of 2016