Few fans can match Andover native Hunter Lochmann’s love for the Kansas Jayhawks.
His father, Riney Lochmann, starred along with Celtic legend JoJo White on some great KU teams before playing three years for the Dallas Chaparrals in the ABA.
Hunter, a 1990 Andover High grad, also went to KU as did his mother, sister, wife and father-in-law.
“I literally have Kansas blood running through me,” said Lochmann.
Last week with Bill Self’s powerhouse club seemingly destined for another Final Four berth, it suffered one of the most heartbreaking collapses in school history. Kansas, which was ranked third nationally, led by 10 with 2:20 left but Michigan rallied and forced OT on Trey Burke’s 30-footer with four seconds left. Michigan won in OT.
Hunter was at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., and beamed while the rest of Jayhawk Nation was aghast.
He can be forgiven. Lochmann is the chief marketing officer for University of Michigan athletics.
“It was crazy,” said Lochmann, who has been at Michigan for nearly 18 months. “As soon as the brackets came out, I was just holding my breath (thinking), ‘Don’t do it to me!’”
Of course, Kansas now is a distant second to his Wolverines, who then beat Florida to make the Final Four for the first time since Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and Fab 5 in 1993.
“It’s not just because of the paycheck,” he said. “I work with Coach (John) Beilein and they are such good people. So I’m vested in it. And you know how important it is to the fans.”
There were no divided loyalties.
“I was one of the most obnoxious Michigan fans (last) Friday,” he said gleefully. “The icing on the cake was celebrating with my KU friends. I celebrated and they drowned their sorrows.”
The run to the Final Four has made his hectic life that much more chaotic.