John U. Bacon | Essay / Analysis, Sports Commentator

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

  • Beilein leaves a legacy of hard work and integrity at Michigan
    Usually in this business we hear rumors, feel tremors, or flat-out get tipped off that big news is about to break. Not this time. When University of Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein signed …
  • The Captain returns to rebuild the team that made him
    The Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs again this year – the third year in a row. Not that big of a deal, except the team had just come off a 25-year streak of playoff appearances – the third longe …
  • Bacon: Bowl Game Round-Up for 2018
    The latest college football bowl season might have gone worse for in-state teams, but it’s hard to imagine how. First, the good news: four state schools were invited to bowl games this year, while Fer …
  • Bacon: A eulogy for Pat Rode
    I first met Pat Rode in the summer of 1980. I was a 15-year-old kid who’d just broken 100 pounds. He was 51-year-old former Army captain. He was built like it, and acted like it: a tough, no-nonsense …
  • The bowl system continues to disappoint everyone (who doesn't profit, at least)
    The people who run all 39 college football bowl games recently picked the 78 teams they want to showcase this holiday season – even though there are only 130 teams to choose from. In other words, they …