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Posted on Tue, Sep 14, 2010 : 12:32 p.m.

Catching up with ... former Michigan quarterback John Navarre

By Michael Rothstein

Welcome to "Catching Up With ..." an occasional feature here at where we chat with someone who used to be involved with Michigan athletics. If there's someone you'd like to see catch up with, e-mail

John Navarre played quarterback for Michigan for four seasons, from 2000-03, and started at least one game in every year. He is second all-time at Michigan in passing yards with 9,254, second in attempts with 1,366, completions (765), and touchdowns (72).

After leaving Michigan, Navarre played two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, starting one game. caught up with Navarre earlier this summer.


Former Michigan quarterback John Navarre plays in the alumni flag football game at Michigan Stadium in April.

Lon Horwedel |

Q: What have you been up to these days?
John Navarre: I work for Alro Steel and raise the kids. That’s about it. Back in Waterford, Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee about 30 minutes.

Q: So how’d you get involved with the steel company?
JN: Alro Steel, we’re a steel distributor. I was working there when I was done playing, and I knew Al Glick (longtime supporter of Michigan athletics and namesake for the Al Glick Field House). He’s the owner of Alro Steel, knew him. So I gave him a call and said, "What’s available?" He has a branch out in Wisconsin, so I started working there.

Q: What exactly are you doing?
JN: I’m the superintendent over there, in charge of operations, trucking, all that kind of stuff.

Q: Is that what you thought you might get into?
JN: Not at all. Not at all. I had no idea I would be in the steel business, but to be honest with ya it’s a dream, it’s challenging. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s really worked out, and is a lot of fun.

Q: What else are you doing besides raising your kids and working there? Still watching much football?
JN: Yeah, yeah. I come back to one or two games every year. I’m not as involved as I used to be, but my time is so occupied by my kids and the business so just a couple games a year. I brought my little daughter to the spring game a few (months) ago, so trying to get them involved. So we’ll see how it goes.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein



Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 4:36 p.m.

Most underappreciated Michigan QB of all-time? I think so. I remember both the papers and fans verbally brutalizing him. Considering his records, and being the last Michigan QB to take down Ohio State, he deserved a little less heat. Regarding the article, I hope future installments will involve a little more than a job status check. What does Navarre think about the new offense, or, from a quarterback's perspective, what is his take on Denard Robinson? I would love to hear his memories of the pressure and high-expectations placed on him during his college career. What is his favorite memory as a Michigan Wolverine? Also, about a year ago, I read that Navarre tried out for the AAFL (All-American Football League) that is supposed to kick-off in the spring. Is playing still in consideration? I'm no interviewer, but please, more depth.


Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 10:45 a.m.

johnny a2: Nobody is forcing any of these football players or athletes to come to any college and play in return for a free education. I admire their abilities both athletically and in the juggling act of school vs. sport. I don't think I could do it. What about it is immoral though? I could see the players getting work study money for practice time put in (as cafeteria workers get) but the athletes get so many extras that the others don't get, like shoes, clothing, freebies at local pizza joints, free lodging...I don't think it's a bad deal for them. If they don't like it, let them quit and get a real job.


Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 9:16 a.m.

Yeah, I wonder if he has a huge block M posted in his fish bowl over looking the plant....with all the Badger rats working below :O)


Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 5:36 a.m.

John Navarre is the only M QB to ever score on the infamous TransContinental play.


Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 2 a.m.

johnnya2... And to answer your question... Of course the fact that he played football at Michigan helped him get the job. That doesn't mean he's not qualified - he may be a natural. But lets hear it from John himself... "I knew Al Glick (longtime supporter of Michigan athletics and namesake for the Al Glick Field House). Hes the owner of Alro Steel, knew him. So I gave him a call and said, "Whats available?" He has a branch out in Wisconsin, so I started working there." Pretty straight forward if you ask me.


Wed, Sep 15, 2010 : 1:55 a.m.

johnnya2... What do you think it costs for four, sometimes five years of tuition at Michigan? Not just tuition- add room and board, text books. A scholarship doesn't mean free. The cost for each student athlete comes directly out of the football program earnings and is paid directly to the university. With 85 scholarships that means multimillions each year. Not to mention the cost of travel... They play football and in return get a free ride and a chance for a degree that they can use the rest of their life. Does the University ask for the money back? No. What % of college football players end up making a living playing professionally? Less than 3%, And of that 3% how many make millions? Ever less. And those that do, do they have to pay back their scholarship? Of course not. And could they have gone pro without first using the University to showcase their talents? Doubt it. Now what about the other 97% that never goes pro... they have a college degree, and if they don't have a degree they certainly have made many connections and have one of the worlds largest alumni pools to help seek employment. And what about all the extra millions the school pulls in? Well, it goes right back into the school. Funds non-revenue sports, facility upgrades... It's not like there's a room full of fat cats lining their pocket on slave labor. Everyone wins. Pay college athletes... Never. You want to throw them a few hundred a month pocket money-sure... But a salary of any substantial amount is simply unrealistic when the athletic department is already paying out millions to the school as is.


Tue, Sep 14, 2010 : 10:49 p.m.

I liked Navarre good to see he is doing well. I will never forget that hugh comeback win over Minnesota in the second half what a performance by a Qb.


Tue, Sep 14, 2010 : 10:46 p.m.

@Kubrick Is your position that he only got the job because he played football at Michigan, or because he has a Michigan education? If he were a music major he could get paid by the U for his performances. The music major has the same opportunities to meet people who could land them a job. Paying the athletes is not only the right thing to do, it is the MORAL thing to do. I bet in the time that John was at UM, the U made more money than he will ever make at a steel plant. The U runs a business with slave wages. The athletic department carries no risk as a business, gathers its "employees" for free, and then tells them if they get a car, or any "benefit" they are violating a rule. If it were any other endeavor it would be a labor violation. If your position is the athletes are paid, tell me about guys kicked off the team because they are not good enough?


Tue, Sep 14, 2010 : 8:39 p.m.

portagelk, I'm with you on this one. I always liked Navarre and felt like he got the most out of the ability that he had. It's hard to argue with his stats, especially the wins. Also, when he had Braylon Edwards to throw to, that was a pretty lethal combination...just ask the Buckeyes...and the Big Ten since we were the champs his senior year. I'm glad to see he's doing well.


Tue, Sep 14, 2010 : 6:19 p.m.

Perfect example of what a Major University like Michigan can offer a former athlete whose dreams of an NFL career didn't take off. Would he have the job if he wasn't a Michigan Man... Possibly, maybe, but probably not. But because he played football he was given a wealth of opportunities outside the game. Just another reason why we don't- and should never pay college athletes. Free ride, play ball... Parlay that into a lifetime salary. A good deal for both sides.


Tue, Sep 14, 2010 : 5:58 p.m.

Sounds like a happy ending, I liked John Navarre, there were a lot of complainers that didn't. Once your labeled a complainer nobody listens to you anyways. John Navarre will hold his place in Mich. history and that's good enough for true fans.


Tue, Sep 14, 2010 : 2:21 p.m.

Nice to here how Navarre is doing, thanks.