John U. Bacon has worked nearly three decades as a writer, a public speaker, and a college instructor, winning awards for all three.
Bacon earned an honors degree in history (“pre-unemployment”) from the University of Michigan in 1986, and a Master’s in Education in 1994. In 2005-06, the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship named him the first recipient of the Benny Friedman Fellowship for Sports Journalism.
He has authored ten books on sports, business, health, and history, the last six of which are national bestsellers, including Bo’s Lasting Lessons, Endzone, and The Great Halifax Explosion.
Bacon has also pursued his passions for radio, television, coaching and teaching. In 2007 he was invited to give weekly sports commentary on Michigan Radio every Friday morning and appears weekly on Michigan Radio’s Stateside, and occasionally on National Public Radio, which awarded him the PRNDI prize for nation’s best commentary in 2014. He appears often on TV, including HBO, ESPN, Fox Business, MSNBC, and the Big Ten Network, where he is a frequent contributor to both “Icons” series.
Bacon has taught at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, and teaches at the University of Michigan, where the students selected him for the 2009 Golden Apple award, given annually to the University’s top teacher.
Bacon delivers speeches on the themes taken from his books, and coaching and teaching experiences — including leadership, diversity, motivating millennials, and creativity — to corporations, universities, and other groups around the country and the world.
Bacon is an average hockey player, a mediocre Spanish speaker, and a poor piano player – but this has not stopped him from enjoying all three. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and son.
Contributions from John U. Bacon
- With Boston Marathon postponed because of COVID-19, John U. Bacon runs 'Baco-thon'
Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon had Monday April 20, circled on his calendar for a long, long time. Before COVID-19 hit, that was the date of the Boston Marathon, and John was supposed …
- Bacon: Instead of worrying about damage control, Michigan leaders need to "start with the truth"
This month we’ve learned the University of Michigan is facing a version of the same problem that has recently beset Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan State: A former staff member has been accused o …
- Bacon: MSU athletic director's ineptitude made Mel Tucker "very rich"
Last week Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio announced he was retiring . The news wasn’t surprising, but the timing was.
- Bacon: As Dantonio retires, his legacy at MSU is mixed
This time of year, college football fans are often buzzing about incoming recruits. But in East Lansing this week, the big news was departure. After 13 seasons, Mark Dantonio retired as Michigan State …
- Bacon: Losing the weight but gaining momentum
Last time I checked in with you , I made a few confessions: I turned 55 this past summer. That same day I tipped the scale at a staggering 205 pounds – a full 40 pounds over my, um, “Coaching Weight.” …