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WMU Broncos Honor Mike Sadler

Fox 17 Morning Mix

Michigan State Football: Western Michigan's helmets honor Mike Sadler

by Connor Muldowney

Michigan State football will be taking on Western Michigan Saturday, but the Broncos know some things are bigger than sports.

Just over a year ago, Michigan State football lost a major member of its family. Former punter, and fan favorite, Mike Sadler was killed in a car accident following a kicking/punting camp in Wisconsin.

Sadler and Nebraska punter Sam Foltz didn’t survive the crash and it left the entire college football world shaken. No, these guys weren’t Heisman contenders, but what they brought to their respective programs was irreplaceable.

Opposing teams who have visited Spartan Stadium over the past year have honored Sadler in pretty cool ways, such as flowers at the three-yard-line — since he was No. 3.

Western Michigan is also doing something to support the Spartans after their loss. Some outside the Spartan program may have put that memory in the back of their minds, but Western Michigan didn’t forget.

The two in-state foes will do battle at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, but they are supporting each other. Not often do you see a team put a decal of an opposing player on its helmets, but Western Michigan is showing some major class here.

For all those who had the opportunity to meet or interact with Sadler, it’s good to see that his legacy lives on. Other programs know the impact he had on Michigan State.

Western Michigan earns some respect with these decals. Should be a good matchup on Saturday afternoon in East Lansing.


WMU honored late MSU punter Mike Sadler based on 'what he stood for'

by Patrick Nothaft

KALAMAZOO, MI - After receiving national applause for helping make a dream come true for USC long snapper Jake Olson, Western Michigan football coach Tim Lester put together another classy gesture during Saturday's game at Michigan State.

The Broncos honored the late Spartans punter Mike Sadler by wearing a sticker with his No. 3 on the back of their helmets during the Week 2 game in East Lansing.​

EXCLUSIVE Breaking NEWS: "Classy" WMU Honors Mike Sadler Today

by Hondo Carpenter - Sep 9

Western Michigan takes on Michigan State today at 3:30 PM here in East Lansing. But months ago new Coach Tim Lester reached out to the mother (Karen) of deceased Spartan ICON and former punter Mike Sadler.

The Sadler family is close personal friends of mine and have been since before Mike was ever a Spartan. Karen let me know that WMU had reached out to her months ago to honor Mike. Here is the backstory she told me.

“The Broncos quarterback Zach Terrell was a lot like Mike. Terrell won the first Michael Sadler award from the NFFMichigan Chapter for being the top division one scholar athlete. Mike had won that award several times. When Mike won it, it was called John Pingel award. That award has been in existence for decades and when Mike died the NFF renamed the award.”

She added, “Terrell won that award last February. When he won it, he and Western Michigan Coach Tim Lester said they wanted to dedicate a game to Mike this season. They educated their team about Mike and all of their pre-game materials are about Mike. Every one of those boys (team) knew about Mike. I went to the hotel to thank them last night and they were warm hearted, polite and 100% class. They told me things about Mike and I felt like I was among friend and family. Didn't matter at the hotel last night if a player was black or white, defense or offense they stood and said something about Mike. A class move by a class organization. I am so appreciative and thankful to WMU for doing this for Michael.”

So not only have the Broncos been honoring Mike for months, today they will be wearing a green number three on the back of their helmets. Something that moved Karen Sadler, “To not only be wearing Michael’s number but to also have it in green when playing Michigan State, was a class move and very kind. I want to thank WMU, Coach Lester, Zach and the team.”


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