Mike Utley

Michael Gerard Utley (born December 20, 1965) is a retired American football player. He played for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League from 1989 through 1991, when he was paralyzed during a game.

Mike Utley
refer to caption
Mike Utley in Detroit on May 16, 2014
No. 60
Personal information
Born:December 20, 1965 (age 53)
Seattle, Washington
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:288 lb (131 kg)
Career information
High school:John F. Kennedy Catholic (Burien, Washington)
College:Washington State
NFL Draft:1989 / Round: 3 / Pick: 59
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games Played:32
Games Started:17

Early life and college career

A graduate of Kennedy Catholic High School near Seattle, Utley attended Washington State University and was part of the Cougars team which triumphed at the 1988 Aloha Bowl,[2] Washington State's first bowl victory since the 1916 Rose Bowl. He was also named MVP. That season, he earned consensus All-American honors, only the second Cougar to do so. In 2004 Utley was elected into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame.[3] He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.[4]

NFL career

Utley was an offensive lineman with the Detroit Lions, picked in the third round of the 1989 NFL Draft. In his rookie year, Utley became the starting right guard for the Lions. He started the first five games, but was injured in the fifth game against the Minnesota Vikings. Utley was put on injured reserve for the rest of the year. In his second year, he fractured two ribs in the third preseason game. He was sidelined for the last preseason game and the first three regular season games. Utley came off the bench by playing in the second half of the next two games. Utley started in the sixth game, but dislocated his shoulder in the third quarter. He finished the season playing only in the second half of games.


In his third year, Utley started every game and was the full-time right guard until a paralysis injury forced him to retire. An injury to his sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae occurred in a game against the LA Rams on November 17, 1991. Although he would later learn he was largely paralyzed from the chest down,[5] Utley flashed the crowd a "thumbs up" as he was being taken off the field. The thumbs up sign has become the symbol for the Mike Utley Foundation, a foundation created in 1991 by Utley and his agent Bruce Allen to help seek a cure for paralysis.

Utley began rehabilitation at Craig Hospital, which specializes in spinal cord injuries.[6] While the location of his injury makes him a quadriplegic by the standard medical definition, he has essentially complete use of his upper extremities, making him functionally a paraplegic.

Mike Utley Foundation

The mission of the Mike Utley Foundation is to financially support an effective function-restoring treatment for spinal cord injuries, to encourage through education that of adopting a rehabilitative lifestyle for the spinal cord injured and a public awareness of spinal cord injuries.[7]


  1. ^ "Ex-Cougar Utley wins Camp honor". The Seattle Times. January 8, 2007.
  2. ^ "Mike Utley honored with alumni award". wsu.edu. October 30, 2007.
  3. ^ WSU Athletic Hall of Fame — Mike Utley
  4. ^ O'Hara, Mike (January 15, 2016). "Mike Utley elected to college football HOF". Detroit Lions. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  5. ^ Mike Utley Foundation - Finding a Cure for Paralysis
  6. ^ Raley, Dan (August 28, 2008). "Where Are They Now: Mike Utley". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  7. ^ http://www.mikeutley.org/t-AboutUs-Mission.aspx?skinid=8&VM=_AboutUs

External links

1986 Washington State Cougars football team

The 1986 Washington State Cougars football team was an American football team that represented Washington State University in the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10) during the 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their ninth and final season under head coach Jim Walden, the Cougars compiled a 3–7–1 record (2–6–1 against Pac-10 opponents, eighth place) and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 312 to 221. The Cougars tied eventual Rose Bowl champion Arizona State in Tempe in late September, then beat USC by twenty points in Pullman, but lost their final five games and dropped in the standings.

WSU's statistical leaders in 1986 included senior quarterback Ed Blount with 1,882 passing yards, Kerry Porter with 921 rushing yards, and Kitrick Taylor with 523 receiving yards. Notable players included Timm Rosenbach, Mike Utley, and future head coach Paul Wulff.

Walden departed for Iowa State in the Big Eight Conference in mid-December, and was succeeded by Dennis Erickson, who returned to the Palouse in January 1987 after just one season at Wyoming.

1988 All-Pacific-10 Conference football team

The 1988 All-Pacific-10 Conference football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Pacific-10 Conference teams for the 1988 college football season.

1991 Detroit Lions season

The 1991 Detroit Lions season was the franchise's 62nd season in the National Football League, their 58th as the Detroit Lions. It stands as the team's best season since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. [1]

The team finished 12–4, won the NFC Central Division, and appeared in the playoffs for the first time since 1983; it also marked the team's first winning season since 1983. The Lions finished the season undefeated in the Pontiac Silverdome, including playoffs, and the team did not lose a game at an indoor facility the entire season, having made trips to Indianapolis and Minnesota during the year.

This season also saw the Lions debut of wide receiver Herman Moore, the team's 1991 first round draft pick who went on to set records as part of an explosive passing offense later in the decade. The 1991 season was the last season that saw the Lions sweep the Packers until 2017. It was also the last time the Lions would win at Lambeau Field until 2015. From 1992 until 2014, the Lions lost 24 straight games in Wisconsin (three in Milwaukee, 21 in Green Bay) against the Packers.

A1A (album)

A1A or A-1-A is the fifth studio album by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett and the third major label album in Buffett's Don Gant-produced "Key West phase." It was initially released in December 1974 as Dunhill DS-50183 and later re-released on Dunhill's successor labels ABC and MCA.

The album is named for Florida State Road A1A that runs mostly along the Atlantic Ocean and is the main road through most oceanfront towns. It is also referenced in the song "Trying To Reason With Hurricane Season". The album's original back cover is a photograph of a section of A1A.

Easter Island (album)

Easter Island is the eighth solo album by Kris Kristofferson, released in 1978 on Monument.

Heartbreak Radio

Heartbreak Radio is a 1981 album by Rita Coolidge and was released on the A&M Records label.

Mark Chmura

Mark William Chmura (born February 22, 1969), is a former American football tight end, who played his entire career with the Green Bay Packers (1992–1999). During his playing career, his nickname was Chewy. He won Super Bowl XXXI with the Packers against his hometown team, the New England Patriots. Mark is also known for being accused of sexual assault.

Michael Utley

Michael "Mike" Utley is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer for Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band. He is the musical director of the band. Born in Blytheville in Mississippi County, Arkansas, he graduated from the University of Arkansas where he was initiated into the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was recognized by Sigma Chi as a Significant Sig in 2017.

Early in his career, Utley worked with the house band for Atlantic Records in Miami, Florida's Criteria Studios backing performers such as Aretha Franklin, Jerry Jeff Walker, and the Allman Brothers and in California playing with Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson.

Jerry Jeff Walker recruited Utley to play keyboard instruments on Buffett's first major label album, A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, in 1973. Utley continued to work with other performers in the mid-1970s while appearing on Buffett's subsequent albums until Buffett's 1977 breakout Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes when he joined the Coral Reefer Band full-time.

Utley has title credit on several albums, the first being an instrumental record with fellow Coral Reefer Band member Robert Greenidge titled Mad Music.

Utley has gone on to produce or co-produce a number of Buffett albums beginning with One Particular Harbour in 1983. He has toured with the Coral Reefers ever since.

During the song "Volcano," Utley's name is mentioned. Right before the first solo, Jimmy Buffett says "Mr. Utley." This leads into the solo.

Natural Act

Natural Act is the third and final duet album by Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, released in 1978 on A&M Records. The couple would divorce the following year. The album was released while Coolidge's career was at a peak; her recent albums Anytime...Anywhere and Love Me Again had seen much commercial success. Natural Act is Kristofferson's only album to chart in the United Kingdom.

Nice Feelin'

Nice Feelin’ is the second album by Rita Coolidge. It was released in 1971. The album was produced by David Anderle, with The Dixie Flyers serving as the studio band.

Phoenix (Dan Fogelberg album)

Phoenix is the sixth album by American singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg, released in 1979 (see 1979 in music).

Ray Crockett

Donald Ray Crockett (born January 5, 1967) is a former American football player in the National Football League. He played for fourteen years in the NFL and earned two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos as a cornerback. He played his high school football at Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas. He played college football at Baylor from 1984 to 1988, and was inducted into the Baylor athletic hall of fame in 2008. He notably returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown against Dallas in 1991. On 20 Sep 1998, he intercepted Jeff George in the third quarter and returned it 25 yards, then did it again in the 4th quarter, returning it 80 yards for a touchdown, and Broncos record 105 combined interception yards.

In 2005, he co-starred (with Dick Butkus) in the ESPN reality show Bound for Glory, in which they both took on the task of coaching a high school football team.He appeared on the NBC game show Identity, as one of the twelve people whose identity the contestant had to guess. The contestant correctly identified him as a football player.

In 2008, he collaborated with Morgan Spurlock (creator of the show 30 Days and the popular film Super Size Me) to be on an episode of 30 Days. In the episode, Crockett spent 30 days using a wheelchair to get around. He chose to be on the show after witnessing a paralyzing injury of former Detroit Lions teammate Mike Utley in 1991. The rapper and producer Birdman is seen wearing his jersey in the music video of the song "I made it" by Kevin Rudolf featuring Lil' Wayne, Jaysean and Birdman.

In 2019, he join Your EFO "Your Championship Tax Office" and is currently the VP of Operations.

Ray currently lives in Dallas Texas.

Shake Hands with the Devil (album)

Shake Hands with the Devil is the ninth solo album by Kris Kristofferson, released in 1979 on Monument Records. Several of the songs on the album were written by Kristofferson years before its release.

Surreal Thing

Surreal Thing is the seventh solo album by Kris Kristofferson, released in 1976 on Monument Records. "Killing Time" and "The Golden Idol" are re-recordings of songs that were originally released as a single in 1967.

The Lady's Not for Sale

The Lady's Not For Sale is a 1972 album by Rita Coolidge, and was released on the A&M Records label, AMLH 64370. It was later reissued on the Music For Pleasure label, MFP-50500. The inner gatefold photo was shot on location at Stonehenge in the English county of Wiltshire.

Utley (surname)

Utley is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Adrian Utley, British jazz guitarist

Chase Utley, American baseball player

Freda Utley, English scholar, activist, and non-fiction author

Garrick Utley, American television journalist

George Utley, English footballer

Jerome Utley, American baseball player and coach, contracting engineer, hotelier and boxing promoter

Justin Utley, American rock singer and songwriter

Mike Utley, American football player

Robert M. Utley American author and historian

Stan Utley, American professional golfer

Steven Utley, American writer

T. E. Utley, British conservative columnist

William L. Utley, American military officer and politician

Volcano (Jimmy Buffett album)

Volcano is the ninth studio album by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett and is his 11th overall. It was released in August 1979 as MCA 5102 and was his first release on that label after its absorption of ABC Dunhill.

The album and its title song are named for the then dormant Soufrière Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat in the British West Indies where Buffett recorded the album in May 1979 at AIR Studios. (The studio was severely damaged by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Soufrière Hills erupted again in 1995.) Additional recording was done at Quadrafonic Studios in Nashville Tennessee and Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles, California in the United States. The album is dedicated to Buffett's wife and his daughter, Savannah Jane Buffett, who was born just before its release.

White Light (Gene Clark album)

White Light, aka Gene Clark, is the second solo album by Gene Clark, former member of The Byrds. It received critical acclaim upon its release, but only achieved commercial success in the Netherlands, where rock critics also voted it album of the year. Like all of his post-Byrds records, it did very poorly on the US charts.

In 2018 independent reissue label Intervention Records announced that it would be reissuing White Light on CD/SACD with expected release of the album in the early summer of 2018.

Special teams
Notable people
Division championships (4)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (4)
Current league affiliations
Seasons (90)

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