GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — This fall, Michigan Football will battle Penn State on the field inside Beaver Stadium. But six months earlier, the Wolverines came to Pennsylvania to visit the battlefields of Gettysburg.

As part of the annual team trip, Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh brought his players and coaches to Gettysburg. The team made stops in Canton, Cleveland, Gettysburg, Washington D.C. and New York City this May.

“It’s been amazing, great opportunity for us,” said Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy. “Any time you study your history, you’re creating better opportunities for a better future.”

The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the Civil War, but a battle that came with the most loss of life.

“It’s just a great place of leadership, some decisions made that were good, others that weren’t good,” Harbaugh said. “It’s the most significant battle in U.S. history, our country would look far different today in my opinion if it wasn’t for this battle.”

As the players took in the sites, their tour guide relating the historic war to the lessons learned in football: power of scouting, knowing your opposition and working as one unit.

“There’s so many similarities of leadership, fighting for your side and for your brothers,” Harbaugh said. “For the team, [there’s] a lot of correlations between military and football.”

In most trips to Pennsylvania, Michigan wants go home with a win, but the Wolverines left this trip with a few life lessons instead. The goal to help create the perfect Michigan man.
“It just goes to [Coach Harbaugh’s] vision of making complete men, not just football players,” McCarthy said. “That’s something special about this place. Everything we do on a day to day basis in the building, in the facility and out here is just trying to be the best version of ourselves and the most complete version.”

Michigan Football will play Penn State inside Beaver Stadium on Saturday, November 10, 2023.