2020 Raeder's Raiders Award Winner
Playing for Coach Bump Elliot on the 1959 Football Team, a unit of sophomores led by J. Paul Raeder provided a valuable spark to the entire team while coming off the bench. Collectively known as Raeder's Raiders they were favorites of fans and teammates alike due to their hard-nosed, inspired play. The Raeder's Raiders Spirit Award, endowed by J. Paul Raeder's family, is given annually by the M Club to a Michigan student-athlete who demonstrates character, teamwork, dedication, perseverance, and intensity in athletic performance while "coming off the bench".
This year's recipient, Max Wagner (Beverly Hills, MI), perfectly embodies the Raiders philosophy of Be Prepared, Have a Great Attitude, Have Fun and Seize your Moment. A senior on the Men's Track and Field team specializing in the High Jump, Max was a walk-on his freshman year. He chose the University of Michigan for its academics, and inquired about the track program "on a whim".
Max improved his career best jump from 6'4" in high school to 6'11.75" this past indoor season. If you can imagine launching your entire body over a bar at any height, then you can imagine how difficult each inch gets as the bar moves higher. An improvement of over 7" in a collegiate career is nearly unheard of.
After not making the Big Ten Championship roster his first 2 seasons, Max made both the Indoor and Outdoor rosters in 2019. He scored points at the 2019 Outdoor Championship and qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Championship. Max's PR came at his last collegiate meet, the 2020 Indoor Big Ten Championships where he placed 8th, scoring more team points.
From Coach Jenni Ashcroft: "Max is one of the most respectful and coachable student-athletes I have worked with. There are certain student-athletes that you share their stories to encourage future teams. Max will definitely be someone I talk about to inspire student-athletes down the road. He is a testimony of someone that bought-in, committed himself to developing his craft and was always willing to extend his best effort for the team."
Even while putting in all the hard work on the track, Max carried a 3.93 GPA in Neuroscience with an eye on becoming a neurosurgeon. Read more about that pursuit HERE