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Posted on Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 7:51 a.m.

Michigan football team finds a natural fit in kicking recruit Matt Wile

By Pete Bigelow

Until Brady Hoke arrived in Ann Arbor, high school kicker Matt Wile hadn’t considered playing for the Wolverines.

On the surface, that wouldn’t be unusual for a kid from San Diego. But in many ways, Wile was destined to attend the University of Michigan.

His great-great grandfather attended medical school at the university, and upon completion of his residency, worked as a professor here. He’s buried in Ann Arbor’s Forest Hill Cemetery - a few steps down from legendary Michigan football coach Fielding Yost.

His great-grandfather attended medical school at the university. His grandfather attended medical school at Michigan too. So did Wile’s dad, who now is an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego.

“Talk about a Michigan man,” said John Morrison, Wile’s high school football coach at the Francis Parker School. “He’s as close as possible.”

Wile has given a verbal commitment to Hoke and will officially become a fifth-generation Michigan student upon signing a binding letter of intent Wednesday on national signing day.

“My dad tried not too much to push me toward Michigan, but he definitely liked the sound of it,” said Wile, who was offered a scholarship by Hoke three days after his hiring.

“Now that I’ve made the decision, I’m really excited to come out in June and start practicing with the team.”

He’ll get a chance, perhaps more than any other member of the 2011 class, to make an immediate contribution. Michigan’s kickers went a combined 4-for-14 in the 2010 season.

Then-coach Rich Rodriguez grew so desperate at one point early in the season that he held open tryouts for the general student body to audition potential kickers.

Wile hopes to provide a consistent leg. At Francis Parker, he connected on 10 of 13 attempts his senior season, including one from a career-long 49 yards.

As a sophomore and junior, the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder helped Frances Parker win sectional championships. His team reached the sectional final his senior season.

He did more than kick. Wile played linebacker and defensive end for the Lancers, and was a USA Army all-American as a punter, averaging 42 yards per punt, according to his coach.

“He’s just a great, great kid,” Morrison said.

Wile, a three-sport athlete who also plays soccer and lacrosse, picked Michigan over Air Force and Nebraska. He already had a strong relationship with Hoke during his time at San Diego State - his dad has been a long-time surgical consultant for the Aztecs.

(In fact, as a kid, Matt and his dad accompanied San Diego State to Ann Arbor and watched the Wolverines’ eke out a 24-21 victory from the sideline. At halftime, he kicked field goals at the Big House).

But Wile’s priorities in picking a college were two-fold: He wanted a good relationship with coaches and, more importantly, a school with a strong academic program.

“Those were the two main things, but thirdly, I wanted a good football program,” he said. “It would be fun not to lose, and Michigan has very strong potential to go to BCS bowls, if not win a national championship.”

His oldest sister graduated from NYU’s business school and works for Merrill Lynch. He’s got another sister whose about to graduate with a business degree from USC.

In a departure from family tradition, Wile intends to follow in his sisters’ footsteps and pursue a degree in business or engineering - and not go to medical school like four generations before him.

“What I would really like to do is double major,” he said. “But that might be ridiculously hard.”

Pete Bigelow covers Michigan football for He can be reached at (734) 623-2556, via email at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.


1st Down

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

Pretty cool story. The Wile destiny came true...and we needed a good kicker too.


Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 12:40 a.m.

I am glad to see this kid following the TRADITION. History always repeats itself. GO BLUE

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 5:38 p.m.

DonAZ I concur with that mind-set. A high tide raises all boats. The coaching tide has come in and it will get the skills of every player that stays going up. Being better coached means playing better and I don't want to hear about 3-5 years. The defense and STs will be better NOW. And that helps the "O" in so many ways it's not even funny. Better field position means shorter drives to score. Having a power aspect means increased TOP, which helps the "D" rest and allows coaches to adjust to the other teams formations and plays. Which stops their offense. That helps our offense get the ball back to score again. It's called a TEAM for a reason. TiM Go Glue!


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.

As General Custer said leading the Micihgan Militia into battle at Gettesburg, Let's go Wolverines, let's go!


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

Libby Bacon was her name and yes they lived in Monroe. There is a statue of Custer downtown to honor that great cival war hero. He didn't do to well with indians however. Interesting comparison he was a tough guy, sound familiar?

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

His wife was Elizabeth, but went by Libby. Hopefully this wont be anybody's "Last Stand", (although the Native Americans have a different point of view of events at the Little Big Horn river.) tulsatom Wouldn't you say the Gator Bowl was already someone's "Last Stand"? (there, I tied it into Michigan football)


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

Yes, not too many people realize Custer spent a lot of time Michigan. I believe his wife was from Monroe if I've not mistaken. Hopefully this won't be Wile's Last Stand but the beginning of a nice career in Ann Arbor.


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

@ Blue Wolverine you can hear the recorded Brady Hoke interview @ they are sports radio guys on 107.3 wbbl fm radio.. in Grand Rapids.. Also I'm sure the Huge Show from 3pm to 6pm on the same station will have Brady,and probably Dave Brandon on today or tomorrow... Listen for when they ask Brady how he felt when Dave Brandon lined up the 2012 season starting out with Alabama,Air Force and ND as his first 3 games of the season... Great stuff Enjoy.. TiM.. Go Blue...


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.

Blu-dogg97 you are my hero! I tried the website and heard the whole broadcast, awesome. Just so you know I live in the south the heart of the SEC and getting broadcasts like this just doesn't happen. Every day I am on the internet trying to find out what I can related to Michigan especially now that Brady is there. Thanks a bunch!


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 4:18 p.m.

Want to bet Seth Broekhuizen and Brendan Gibbons come back strong in 2011 and we see them kicking more than we see Wile kicking? Just a hunch.


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

A lot of hope has been expressed for this kicker and with good reason. If you can kick on the big stage you are welcome for sure, if you can't kick in the big house you are still welcome.


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 4:18 p.m.

Not sure I'm following your logic. Are you saying that kicking is not valued at Michigan, and poor kickers are just as welcome as good kickers?


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

When all is said and done, BH will have salvaged a top 20 recruiting class. Pretty good for for only being on the job for 3 weeks. Next year UM will have a top 5 class of recruits.

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

BG 97 You went a little "Wiled" there, didn't you? TiM Go Blue!

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

'97 Glad you got THAT over with. I'm sure the kid's heard it all before and there's plenty of room for humor here.


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

sorry too much caffeine this morning!! I'm just fired up...


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

@ Blue Wolverine.. Amen Brother! you've said it all & well... Brady Hoke was just on WBBL radio,I defy anyone not to like this guy!! He's got moxie, and has Blue running threw his veins !! This is going to be one exciting fall in A2... Thanks again Mr.Brandon for bringing us Hoke-A-Mania .... Go Blue..


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

I wish I could have heard that broadcast! I have watched his press conferance 3 times in full and I get pumped every time I listen. I can't tell you what a treat is in store for this program with Brady in charge!!!


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 1:47 p.m.

What I see in this story is something we could see a lot more of in the future of recruiting at Michigan. This is important going forward to rebuild the reputation this great program has and had. There are kids all over the country that are smart and want to consider Michigan because its a great school and football program. This forum is a great place to promote this and rebuild the excitment we have missed in the past few years. I look forward to sharing more stories like this in the future. I'm going to Mr. Spots to celebrate!


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

your welcome Blue Wolv..glad i can help a fellow Blue fan,it must be ruff down there,without Blue news etc.. I would keep that 107.3wbbl fm website for future reference,also you can stream live radio there from the net, The Huge show is on bbl also or go to he's on 3 to 6 pm..I know alot of ppl sometimes don't like huge,but he has a great producer Brett Mueller that gets some great interviews, Hoke ,Brandon,past players etc.. that you can listen online,or hear recorded ones also..when I go on vacation,I just listen to live radio on line..he had Dave Brandon on 20 mins after the Brady Hoke presser when introduced to the UofM was good..Plus both shows have guys from on alot Chris Balas,and Josh Helmholt and those guys are on campus daily so their informative..Hey my name is Jeff btw,I can be reached at,if you send me a msg there,I'll let you know when the good interviews are on the radio,and shoot you a quick notice if you'd like.. Good day & go blue


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

Its been a Wile since we seen a good kicker in A2.. So you Sir are very very Welcome here!! Congratulations to you Matt,much success on that double major,you can succeed all the Wile, we'll patiently be in your corner Wile you put the ball thru the uprights,on any given Saturday in the fall in A2... Welcome to Big Blue Mr.Wile.. I know I'll get a kick out you being here... TiM... Go Blue..

Steve Pepple

Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

A comment containing a personal attack against another commenter has been removed.


Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 1:12 p.m.

Thank God. I cannot stand to see Michigan miss the 'extra point' or miss an easy field goal because the kicker isn't up to snuff. Wile sounds like a breath of fresh air. Yayyy!