Mike Utley Foundation

The Story Begins

Throughout his impressive career with the Washington State Cougars and later the Detroit Lions, Mike Utley (#60) channeled his competitive drive into being a winner.  A former college All-American who started playing at the age of 7, all believed that his major accomplishments would be playing the game that he loved, football.

During one fateful day on November 17, 1991 in a game against the Los Angeles Rams, Mike Utley was attempting to throw a block during a pass play when he went down.  He knew immediately that something was wrong.  An eerie silence descended over the stadium as Mike lay motionless.  As they wheeled him off the field Mike gave the crowd a “Thumbs Up!” to let them know he would be back.  Mike Utley suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed.

With the help of his agent Bruce Allen, the Mike Utley Foundation was established January 2, 1992 to provide funding for research, rehabilitation and education for those living with spinal cord injuries.  Mike is adamant that a cure will be found while aknowledging the progress the scientific community has made during the past 16 years.

The Mike Utley Foundation historically has raised over 2 million dollars.  In addition to innovative research, the Foundation financially supports rehabilitation projects, patient and family assistance programs, patient equipment, patient and family education and therapeutic recreational programs.

The Mike Utley Foundation encourages those disabled by such injuries to expand their potential through rehabilitation, physical training, education and a determined pursuit of personal goals.  Mike is pro-active in the sense that he believes that the more self-sufficient a spinal cord injured person becomes the more it will increase their quality of life.

“Go into battle prepared to win” describes Mike’s philosophy regarding life, his Foundation and his determination to help others living with spinal cord injuries. 

“Thumbs Up!”

The Mike Utley Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization.