Mike's Biography

Date of Birth

December 20, 1965 - Seattle, WA

Grade School    

St. Paul - Seattle, WA

High School    

John F. Kennedy High School - Seattle, WA
Football Coach:  Tom Merill
“Mike Utley was the greatest football player in the history of John F. Kennedy H.S. in Seattle, WA".
Lettered in football and basketball - served as captain on both teams.


1984 - Scholarship to Washington State University in Pullman, WA
In 1989 he led the Cougars to their most successful season since 1929 with a 9-3 record and their fourth ever post-season bowl bid, an Aloha Bowl invitation.  The WSU Cougars won the Aloha Bowl with a win over the Houston Cougars (score 24-22)
2004 Inducted into the Washington State University Athletic Hall of Fame
2016 Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame

Bowl Games 

Coca Cola Bowl-Tokyo, Japan 1987
Aloha Bowl-1988
Hula Bowl-1989
East West Shrine Game-1989

All American 

He became only the second player in WSU history to earn consensus first team All-American honors.  
He received this recognition from:
- American Football Coaches Association
- Football News
- Football Writers of America
- Kodak
- Scripps- Howard
- United Press International
- Voted WSU Most valuable player
- Mike was one of 10 nominees for the Seattle Post Intelligencer’s Sports Star of the Year Award.


1989 by the Detroit Lions, 3rd pick in the third round.  In Mike’s rookie year, he became the starting right guard for the Lions.


November 17, 1991 - fractured 6th and 7th cervical vertebrae.  Hospitalized and had surgery at Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI.  Started rehabilitation December 13, 1991 at Craig Hospital in Englewood, CO. 

Mike Utley Foundation 

With the help of his agent, Bruce Allen, Mike founded the Mike Utley Foundation.  Established to find a cure for spinal cord injuries the Foundation supports select research, rehabilitation and education for SCI.