By day, Jeff Holzhausen, M.P.H. ’98, M.H.S.A. ’02, is a mild-mannered manager of provider relations for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. But catch him in the Big House on a football Saturday or inside Yost Arena on a February night or at Crisler Arena during basketball season, and you’ll meet his alter-ego—the original cape-clad, cowbell-ringing, maize ’n blue University of Michigan Superfan.
It started back in 1992, during his freshman year, when Holzhausen’s antics in Michigan Stadium earned him his now-famous nickname, and he’s been at it ever since, first as an undergrad, then as a School of Public Health grad student, and now as a proud alum. He’s even spawned a small industry, with eight additional Superfans having followed in his footsteps (one is elected each year by members of the Maize Rage, a UM student spirit group).
A season ticket holder with UM football, basketball, and hockey, as well as the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions, the 32-year-old Holzhausen admits his hobby takes a toll. When he got married last spring, it was to “the first girlfriend I’ve had in ten years who made it through football season.”
As for his real job, Holzhausen says health care is “such a huge part of the Michigan economy, that I knew I could make a difference in the state by doing a public health and health administration degree. Not only am I true to my U, but I’m true to my state.” Ever the cheerleader, he adds that health care is “probably the one piece of the Michigan economy that’s not suffering right now.”
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SUPERFAN’S TOP 5 PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2007–2008 UM SEASON
- Michigan baseball and softball will challenge for national championships.
- Michigan hockey will win the Central Collegiate Hockey Association championship.
- Michigan basketball will begin its return to prominence under new coach Jim Beilein.
- Mike Hart will finish his career as Michigan’s all-time rushing leader.* (Happened Oct.6, 2007--Ed.)
- Michigan football will win the Big Ten championship and make another BCS bowl game—the fourth in five years.