The ultimate M Den
do." That includes an expanded line of women's, juniors' and kids' clothing on the second floor, along with a huge gallery of framed U-M photos, and a Michigan-themed home furnishings department with linens and draperies, tailgating paraphernalia, and patio and game room furniture. Most of the first floor's taken up with U-M gifts and licensed Adidas shoes, gear, and clothing.
Hirth and Horning are Ann Arborites in their mid-sixties and lifelong friends who met in sixth grade. Both went to U-M and graduated with degrees in education. What they really wanted to do, though, was open a sporting goods store. But neither had any business experience, and they couldn't get financing. "We were politely told by some banks in Ann Arbor that maybe we should teach for a while," Hirth recalls wryly. So they went into teaching and coached high school sports on the side.
The coaching led to a long relationship with Stein & Goetz sporting goods on Main Street. Then, in 1976, Bud Stein and Ward Goetz announced they wanted to sell the store. Hirth and Horning, ten years into their teaching careers, saw their chance, went to a local bank, and this time managed to get a loan. They didn't even consider keeping their day jobs. "It was dive in with both feet or don't dive in," says Hirth. "You can't make things work if you don't do that . . . so we took the plunge."