CRICKET. — The first organized sport at the University of Michigan was cricket. The "Pioneer Cricket Club" of eight officers and twenty-five members, headed by a student president, Frank Todd, was formed in 1860. The game, more strictly a modification of the English sport, was played with wickets set up on State Street. As it increased in popularity, however, it became somewhat of a nuisance and a traffic obstacle, and in 1865 the Board of Regents appropriated $50 for the upkeep of nearby grounds, thereby for the first time officially recognizing an organized athletic activity at Michigan (R.P., 1864-70, p. 95).
Before that time athletics was unknown or carried on extemporaneously. For example, an early student records that "sawing wood and carrying it upstairs" to his room was the principal form of exercise. Feats of strength, jumping, weight-lifting, and foot races were favored individual competitive exercises. Group activities consisted of such games as "one old cat" and "wicket," a crude form of cricket. Fishing trips along the Huron River or hikes to Ypsilanti, when faculty permission could be obtained, were other recreational pastimes.
Actually, the first demands for athletic facilities came before 1858; in that year an old military barracks on the campus was transformed into a gymnasium with a few bars, poles, ropes, and rings. The gymnasium, which had a tanbark floor and a canvas roof, was a sort of circus tent that could be used only in warm weather as it had to be erected on poles set in the ground.
Baseball. — The first attempt to organize a collegiate sport took place in 1863, when baseball was introduced to the students. John M. Hinchman and Emory L. Grant ('66) were credited with the innovation. The latter sponsored a movement to lay out a diamond on the northeast corner of the campus. Little headway was made in 1863, but in 1864, with Hinchman acting as catcher, president, and captain, the first University Baseball Club was formed. By 1867 the club, which had grown to forty-six members from its original nine in 1864, had developed to such an extent that it was playing in the race for the state championship and was outfitted in playing uniforms. Some of the early scores are interesting. In 1867 Michigan defeated Ann Arbor, 30-26, and won from Jackson, 43-15. After losing to Detroit, 36-20, in the first game, the club defeated their big city rivals, 70-17.
Meanwhile, cricket declined in popularity; by 1872 the number in the club Page 1968had dropped to thirty, although an outside schedule was played in spite of the disapproval of the faculty. During an attempt to revive the sport in 1872-73, the Michigan cricket players defeated Lodi "79 and 7 wickets" to 62, and again in the same year, 135-133. The next year they lost to the Peninsular Club of Detroit.
In 1872 only one baseball game is recorded, Michigan defeating the Mutuals of Jackson, 19-9. The first intercollegiate game, played with Wisconsin on May 20, 1882, was won by Michigan, 20-8. This game was part of the schedule of the Intercollegiate Baseball League of which Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Racine were members. Michigan withdrew from that association the next year to play professional and semiprofessional opponents, although Oberlin was met in 1886 and Michigan Agricultural College twice in 1887. The first eastern trip was made in 1890. Michigan played Cornell and Colgate and the following year met Yale and Harvard.
Peter Conway, a National League pitcher, was selected to supervise training in 1891, thus becoming the first hired coach. He was followed by F. J. Sexton in 1896, C. F. Watkins in 1897, and "Skel" Roach in 1903. Jerry Utley ('03e), an outstanding pitcher for Michigan, coached in 1904; he was followed by L. W. McAllister, in 1905, and R. L. Lowe in 1907. Wesley Branch Rickey ('11l), who became a major figure in the professional baseball scene, took charge as coach in 1910. One of his players was George Sisler ('15e), who captained the 1915 team and later became one of the greatest first basemen in the history of the sport. Rickey was followed by Carl Lundgren (1914-20), and he, in turn, was succeeded in 1921 by Ray Lyle Fisher (Middlebury '10), who had concluded a major league career as pitcher, first for the old New York Highlanders, forerunner of the modern Yankees, and then as hurler for the Cincinnati Reds, later accepting the position of Supervisor in Physical Education and Baseball Coach, which he still holds at Michigan. Fisher's record at Michigan is one of the most remarkable in collegiate baseball, his teams winning or sharing the Conference championship fifteen times. During his term of service no other coach or institution has equaled this record. Six titles were earned during his first twenty years and nine since 1941.
In 1953 Michigan won its first N.C.A.A. baseball championship, although the 1882 team, upon the basis of its record, was credited with winning the intercollegiate title. Fisher was named "Coach of the Year" in 1953 in recognition of his outstanding coaching performance. In Conference competition since he took over the reins in 1921, Michigan won or shared the title in 1923, 1924, 1926, 1928, 1936, 1941, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1952, and 1953.
The Western Conference, or Big Ten, properly known as the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives, dates from February, 1896, with Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin as members of the original organization. Indiana, Ohio State, and Iowa joined later. The members, aiming to regulate and standardize conditions in all forms of intercollegiate competition and also to maintain a high ideal of amateurism in college sports, attempted a fundamental reform in its organization to which Michigan did not subscribe, and consequently the University withdrew from the Conference in 1906, to remain outside until late in 1917.
Football. — Football, in which Michigan players were to become famous as the "Champions of the West," made its Page 1969appearance soon after baseball. First reference to the game was in 1862, when the student newspaper, the Chronicle, reported that "a group of 42 sophomores was beaten by 82 frosh." In 1872 class captains were named, including William S. Sheeran ('73), senior; Calvin Thomas ('74, LL.D. hon. '04), junior; Edgar D. Root ('75e), sophomore, and E. Crofton Fox, freshman. The first Football Association was formed in 1873 with Charles J. Thomas ('74) as president. Other members were Ben T. Cable ('76), vice-president; Willis L. Watkins ('75), secretary; and Myron H. Phelps (Yale '76), treasurer. The first captain of the team was Wayne Hayman ('73, '75l). No record of the team or of scores exists. Hayman is listed as captain of the football team in 1874-75, the year the first official team was selected. Members of the group, in addition to Hayman, included Samuel W. Smith ('78l), Ben Safley ('76), Ben Birdsall, Jr. ('75e), Edgar D. Root ('75e), Frederic G. White, George E. Pantlind ('75e, '78l), Ben Cable ('76), David N. De Tarr ('78, '80m), John D. Sanders ('76e), and Michael J. McMahon. No games are listed. No mention of football is made in the records of 1875, and that year also the faculty refused the baseball team permission to play out-of-town games.
Football, as the Rugby Game, was introduced in 1876 by Charles M. Gayley ('78), who later wrote "The Yellow and Blue." The first intercollegiate game was played May 30, 1878, at White Stocking Park, Chicago, in what was probably the first collegiate contest played in the "West," Michigan defeating Racine, 7-2, scoring one goal and a touchdown to Racine's lone touchdown. Under the rules then in force a goal counted five points and a touchdown, two. In the fall of that year Michigan again played Racine, winning 1-0. Toronto also was played that year; the score was 0-0.
The University team for 1877-78 included Captain R. T. Edwards, Alexis C. Angell ('78, '80l), David N. De Tarr, William C. Johnson ('78), Joseph A. Beaumont ('80e), Irving K. Pond ('79e, hon. '11), Charles S. Henning ('79e), Frank G. Allen ('81), Andrew S. Deacon, John A. Green ('80), and Everett Marshall (Palladium, 1878, p. 109). The first invasion of the East by Michigan took place in 1881. Three games were played, Michigan losing all three — to Harvard, 4-0; to Yale, 11-0, and to Princeton, 13-4. No schedule was arranged in 1882, but in 1883 Michigan again played and lost to Yale and Harvard.
The systematic development of the game at Michigan dates from 1891, when the first complete advance schedule was arranged. Mike Murphy was the first Michigan football coach; he was assisted by Frank Crawford (Yale '91, Michigan '93l). The first western trip ever made by a Michigan football team took place in 1892; the team was under the direction of Frank Barbour, another Yale graduate. Games were played with Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Chicago. Wisconsin and Chicago were defeated, but losses came at the hands of the Gophers and Northwestern. Against Purdue at Ann Arbor four Michigan players were injured, and, as the team had only three substitutes, the contest had to be called, Purdue winning 24-0. Stories are told of the early-day "giants" of football, but a check of the 1894 players reveals that the average weight of the '94 team members was 170 pounds, the line averaging 178 and the backfield, 155 ½.
A Board in Control of Athletics, composed of five professors and four undergraduates, was established in 1893 by the University Senate to have "full control of all questions pertaining to athletics," including "the eligibility of players, intercollegiate games, leaves of absence, Page 1970the investigation of charges of misconduct on the part of players, and the hiring of coaches and trainers."
In the same year stands were erected to accommodate 400 at Regents Field; these burned in 1895 and were rebuilt at double the seating capacity. In 1902 Dexter M. Ferry, of Detroit, donated an additional seventeen acres to the University, and the combined tracts were named "Ferry Field." The new field, which had a maximum seating capacity of 46,000, was first used in 1906. The present Michigan Stadium was erected in 1927 to seat 87,000; the capacity was increased in 1948 to 97,000 and to more than 100,000 in 1956.
William Lloyd McCauley (Princeton '94), a medical student, coached from 1894 through 1896. In 1894 Keene Fitzpatrick (see Part IX: Department of Physical Education for Men) came to Michigan as the first Instructor in Physical Training and trainer of the team. He became a famous figure in early Wolverine sports history and later at Princeton, one of the country's great track coaches. McCauley was assisted by a student-alumni advisory group, including Gustave H. (Dutch) Ferbert ('97), James E. Duffy ('90, '92l, hon. '21), James Baird ('96e), William C. Malley ('90l, LL.M. '91), Frederick W. Henninger ('97e), and Giovanni R. F. Villa ('96l). The Board in Control, in 1898, appointed Charles M. Baird (see Part VI: The University Musical Society), to fill the newly created position of graduate manager of athletics. Baird, who was destined to play an important part in the rapid rise of Michigan as an athletic power, was succeeded, in 1909, by Phillip G. Bartelme, Director of Outdoor Athletics.
An incident which had great bearing upon the University's future in athletics occurred in 1898. Michigan's varsity squad of eighteen players, with seventeen on the reserve squad, swept through all its games, including Notre Dame and Illinois, until the big game of the year — that with Chicago. In spite of difficulties, victory was finally won, 12-11, after a field-length run by substitute Charles Widman in the closing minutes of the game. Widman's sensational dash so inspired a senior music student, Louis Elbel, that he wrote "The Victors," one of Michigan's greatest songs — one of the greatest of all college songs. It might be said that this event provided the first gathering of the threads of athletic endeavor and school spirit which make up the intangible known as Michigan tradition.
In 1900 Langdon (Biff) Lea, famous Princeton star, replaced Ferbert and the student coaches, and, while the season was successful on the whole, there was dissatisfaction because of two setbacks — at the hands of Chicago, 15-6, and Iowa, 28-5. Thus, the stage was set for the coming of a man who was to leave his impress for all time upon Michigan athletics. Fielding Harris Yost (LL.B. West Virginia '97, LL.D. Marshall '28), after a colorful career as player at the University of West Virginia and at Lafayette and as coach at Ohio Wesleyan and the universities of Nebraska, Kansas, and Stanford, came to the University to begin his long and remarkable term of service in 1901. His first years at Michigan were those of the famous "Point-a-Minute" teams. With such well-remembered luminaries as Hugh White ('02l), Neil Snow ('02), Harrison (Boss) Weeks ('02l), Dan McGugin ('04l), and "Willie" Heston ('04l), the 1901 team scored 550 points to 0 for all opponents. It concluded the year by going to Pasadena, California, to participate in the first Tournament of Roses Game ever played — defeating Stanford, 49-0, on New Year's Day, 1902.
The 1902 team scored 644 points to Page 197112; the 1903 team was scored upon once, as it was tied 6-6 by Minnesota at Minneapolis in the game that established another Michigan tradition, that of the Little Brown Jug. Michigan completed the season with 565 points as against 6 for all opponents. In 1904 Michigan scored 567 points to 22 for the opposition, and by the end of the year had a record of fifty-six victories since 1901 and a total of 2,821 points to 40 for opponents. In the 1905 game with Chicago the teams battled on even terms until Dennie Clark, in a now famous play, tried to run out a rolling punt from behind the goal line and was tackled for a safety and the only two points of the game. That 2-0 loss marked Michigan's first in five years and ended the first era of Wolverine domination over Conference football. Michigan was out of the Conference from 1906 until November, 1917, but defeated Minnesota, Conference champion, in 1909 and again in 1910.
Yost produced many All-Americans during his long term of service. Although William R. Cunningham ('94, '99m), center on the 1898 team, was selected as Michigan's first All-American, he was not generally recognized because he was not named on Walter Camp's official team, and Willie Heston, in 1903-4, is regarded as Michigan's first All-American. Adolph (Germany) Schulz, in 1907, Henry A. Vick, in 1921, and Jack Blott, in 1923, were other great centers at Michigan under Yost; centers Maynard D. Morrison, 1931, and Charles (Chuck) Bernard, 1932, were both coached by that sterling Yost pupil Jack Blott. Other great players who won All-American honors under Yost were halfbacks Johnny Maulbetsch, 1914; Jimmy Craig, 1913; Cedric Smith, 1917; Frank Steketee, 1918; Harry Kipke, 1922, and Bennie Friedman, 1926; ends Stanfield Wells, 1910, and Bennie Oosterbaan, 1925, 1926, 1927, and linemen Albert Benbrook, 1909 and 1910, and Ernie Allmendinger, 1917.
One of Yost's many contributions to the game of football was the famous play "Old 83," the forerunner of such modern plays as the "keep-or-pitch-off" play that earmarks the split-T formation and the T-formation's "belly" plays. His influence on the growth of Michigan spirit and tradition was tremendous. Once, when asked how he developed morale in his teams, he replied, "You don't put morale on like a coat. You build it day by day." With the exception of the year 1924-25, when he was relieved by George Little, Yost was Head Coach from 1901 through 1926. His first four teams, 1901, 1902, 1903, and 1904, and his last four, in 1922, 1923, 1925, and 1926 were Western Conference champions. He became Director of Athletics at Michigan in 1921, serving in that capacity until 1941, when he was succeeded by Crisler, present Director.
In 1924 Harold (Red) Grange, the famous "Galloping Ghost" of the Illinois team, staged one of his most remarkable gridiron performances, at the expense of Michigan, at Champaign, scoring four touchdowns in ten minutes and then adding another. A year later, playing against Grange on the same field, the Wolverines defeated the Illini, 3-0, one of the greatest defensive performances of the era, although Grange's achievement of the 1924 season overshadowed it in the public eye.
When Yost retired as Coach in 1926 he was succeeded by Elton E. (Tad) Wieman, another of his former players. Wieman was succeeded in 1928 by Harry Kipke ('24), one of the great punters of Wolverine history. Kipke produced four Conference champions from 1930 through 1933, and in 1932 and 1933 his teams were accorded mythical national championship honors. It was Page 1972during this period that such All-Americans as Harry Newman, quarterback and key man of those great Kipke teams, flourished, along with Morrison and Bernard, centers, and Francis Wistert, tackle, 1933, first of the three All-American Wistert brothers. From 1934 through 1937, however, Michigan fared ill on the gridiron, winning only two games and losing eight in 1934 and 1936, and breaking even with 4-4 marks in 1935 and 1937.
Herbert Orin (Fritz) Crisler (Chicago '22) was appointed Head Coach and Assistant Director of Athletics in 1938 and Director in 1941. He had been a nine-letterman at the University of Chicago, and began his coaching career there in 1922. He served as head football coach and athletic director at the University of Minnesota from 1930 to 1931, and then went to Princeton. Directing the gridiron fortunes of Old Nassau's Tigers from 1932 through 1937, he coached his teams to thirty-five victories, nine defeats, and five ties. The Crisler era of coaching at Michigan lasted from 1938 through the 1947 season.
When he arrived at Michigan in 1938, he found two sophomores on his squad who were destined to loom large in the success of Wolverine teams. One of these was a husky young Irishman named Thomas Dudley Harmon, whom Yost earlier had called "the greatest prep athlete in the United States." The other was quarterback Forest Evashevski, Harmon's blocking convoy and a fine player in his own right. This pair, however, did not reach their peak until they were juniors because in 1938 Harmon was at right half while the veteran Paul Kromer handled the key left halfback spot. In the first season under the new regime, the Wolverines won six games and lost only one as compared to a 4-4 record the preceding season. They beat Michigan State, to which they had lost for four years in a row. The game with Northwestern was a tie, and the loss was to Minnesota.
Crisler's first team, a forerunner of the great offensive teams for which he was to become noted, scored 131 points to 40 for the opposition as compared to the 1937 team which had scored only 54 points and which had yielded 110. Although he was not in a key ball-carrying position in 1938, Harmon took part in that 14-0 victory over State and went on to average better than five yards for each of his 77 ball-carrying attempts; he also completed 21 of 45 passes for 310 yards. It was apparent from the beginning that Crisler demanded speed from his teams — speed and crisp blocking plus perfect timing. Of his quarterbacks, especially, he also sought alertness and unusual blocking talents.
Michigan, in 1939, won its first game from the Spartans, 26-13. Because of an injury to Paul Kromer, Crisler shifted Harmon over to left halfback. With Evashevski's blocking and help from fullback Bob Westfall, the 1939 team won six and lost two games and then swept through 1940 with a seven to one record. Harmon, from the left halfback position, gained 884 yards in 130 tries to average 6.8 yards, and his passes gained 583 yards more. He punted twice — two quick kicks of 55 yards each. In his senior year he did the punting and added place-kicking to his duties, scoring 21 points in twenty-three minutes against California, Michigan's total of 21 against Michigan State, and 20 points against Harvard.
Harmon was one of the great All-Americans of his era, earning honors on almost all All-American teams in 1939 and 1940. He completed three seasons at Michigan with an individual record showing 2,134 yards of rushing on 398 attempts, 101 pass completions for 1,304 yards, 33 points after touchdown, and Page 1973two field goals for a total of 237 points. He also threw sixteen touchdown passes during the 1,128 minutes he played. Wearing his famous number "Old 98," which was retired upon his graduation, Harmon's memorable duels with Pennsylvania's famous Francis Reagan and his play against Ohio State went down in Michigan history among the greatest performances by Wolverine athletes. He was winner of the Heisman Trophy and also was named captain of the 1940 All-American team.
Westfall followed him in 1941 as All-American, and in 1942, Albert, the second of the Wistert brothers, earned that honor as tackle, as did Julius Franks, Jr., one of the finest guards ever to play at Michigan. Crisler had another All-American in Ralph Heikkinen in 1938, but the first Conference championship, despite a remarkable record, did not develop until 1943. An influx of service trainees with such stars as Elroy Hirsch, Fred Negus, and Bill Daley, in addition to such other fine players as Captain Paul White, Bob Wiese, and Mervin Pregulman made Michigan a Conference winner with All-American honors for Daley at fullback and Pregulman at tackle.
Michigan won five games and lost two in 1944 in Conference play, and then came the exciting years of 1945, 1946, 1947 — the rise of the famous "two-platoon" system at Michigan and the march to the Rose Bowl. In 1945 the drain of the services upon college gridirons became so pronounced that the Western Conference relaxed its rule barring freshmen from competition, and thus Crisler found himself at the begining of a ten-game schedule which included both Army and Navy, with a goodly sprinkling of seventeen-year-olds on his squad. Knowing that he would be forced to use these youthful players against tried veterans in the Army game, including such stars as the well-known Felix (Doc) Blanchard and Glenn Davis, Crisler fathered two-platoon football. He has pointed out:
We arrived at the two-team system at Michigan not out of any great ingenuity on our part, but out of pure necessity. It was a veteran Army team, and Michigan had mostly freshmen. We divided the line into two groups, one whose abilities were best suited to offense, the other best gifted in defense. Then we ran the offensive team in whenever we gained possession. When we lost possession — which was frequently — the defensive line took over. We lost, 28 to 7, but it should have been worse.
The 1945 Army game was a milestone in football history and in Michigan tradition. The gallant stand of the green band of players — six seventeen-year-old freshmen were in the starting line-up — captured the imagination not only of the throng in Yankee Stadium but of the entire country. Coaches everywhere began looking into the hitherto available but unexplored possibilities of the two-platoon system. It is interesting that Crisler later was chairman of the football rules committee that outlawed the unlimited substitution rule in 1953 after its application had been developed to such an extent that it became undesirable and detrimental in the eyes of the national committee.
The Wolverines lost only to Army, Navy, and to Big Ten champion Indiana in 1945, and with 1946 came the return of service men to colleges everywhere. In 1946, with such players as Bob Chappuis, Pete and Chalmers (Bump) Elliott, Dick Rifenburg, Jack Weisenburger, Howard Yerges, Leonard Ford, Bob Mann, Tony Momsen, and Bruce Hilkene, the Wolverines developed into the precisioned group that was to sweep forward to the Rose Bowl the following year. The 1946 team gave Army a stiff battle in the Michigan Stadium before losing 20-13, again to the Blanchard-Davis Page 1974combination. After a tie with Northwestern, the Wolverines dropped a 13-9 decision to Illinois.
In 1947 Michigan's second Rose Bowl team — actually it should be called the second "Tournament of Roses Team" because the first game, on January 1, 1902, was not a "Bowl" game — was the first to achieve a perfect season under Crisler. It belongs among the greatest teams in Wolverine history because of its perfect teamwork, speed, and baffling attack. The imagination of the press, radio, and public was captured by "Michigan's Magicians" with their bewildering assortment of double reverses, buck laterals, crisscrosses, and spins. There was one team for offense, another for defense, and only two players, half-back "Bump" Elliott and fullback Jack Weisenburger, played both. The team thundered through the season with only two opponents threatening seriously, Illinois which fell, 14-7, and Minnesota which lost, 13-6. Chappuis was the man of the hour against Minnesota, while Elliott's 74-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 52-yard pass, Chappuis to Elliott on the four-yard line, and a subsequent touchdown by Henry Fonda, resulted in victory over Illinois. The Wolverines also proved themselves against Wisconsin. The game was played at Madison on a field made slippery by wind, snow, and rain, but Michigan's deft ball-handling was never better demonstrated as victory was achieved, 40-6.
The 1948 Rose Bowl game actually was no contest as Southern California was routed, 49-0 — the exact score by which Fielding Yost's first team had defeated Stanford in 1902. Michigan set or equaled nine Rose Bowl records in winning this game. Crisler was named Coach of the Year, and both Chappuis and Elliott were chosen All-American.
Crisler retired as Coach in 1948 to devote full time to the ever-increasing duties of the athletic directorship. His chief assistant and Backfield Coach, Bennie Oosterbaan, a staff member since 1928 and Michigan's only three-time All-American, succeeded him. Much of the 1947 team was still available, although Chappuis, Weisenburger, Elliott, Yerges, and Hilkene were gone. Dick Rifenburg played end, and Alvin Wistert, tackle. The 1948 team, completing its second straight undefeated season, won both the Big Ten and the national collegiate football titles, and Oosterbaan also was named Coach of the Year. Alvin Wistert, the only one of the three brothers to become All-American twice, repeated his performance in 1949. Michigan won over Michigan State and Stanford before suffering defeat, 21-7, by Army and the following week lost a hard-fought 21-20 game to Northwestern. The last game was a 7-7 tie with Ohio State, and the team shared in the Conference title, marking the third straight season the Wolverines had won or shared top honors in the Western Conference.
The victory over Ohio State, 9-3, in the famous "Roses that Bloom in the Snow" game at Columbus in 1950, secured the title and the Rose Bowl bid for Michigan. The game was played in a blinding blizzard accompanied by a 10-degree temperature. While 50,500 spectators shivered in the stands, the game was delayed twenty minutes as workmen sought to clear the field of snow. Some remarkable kicking under adverse circumstances by Charlie Ortmann and a blocked punt by Center Tony Momsen, which he fell on for the game's lone touchdown, won for Michigan. The Wolverines had won four games, lost one, and been tied in another in Conference play. They earned their third Rose Bowl title on January 1, 1951, by defeating the University of California, 14-6.
Michigan dropped to fourth place in Page 19751951, winning four games and losing two in the Conference as well as losing to Michigan State, not yet in the Big Ten, by a score of 25-0, the first time the Spartans had defeated the Wolverines since 1937. Losses also came at the hands of Stanford and Cornell outside the Conference, the latter, 20-7, at Ithaca.
In 1952 the Wolverines again finished fourth in the Conference, with a 4-2 record, losing to Illinois and Ohio State and dropping both of its nonleague contests — to Michigan State and to Stanford. Because of a fifth-place tie with Iowa and a 3-3 record, including losses to Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan State, 1953 proved to be one of Michigan's poorest years. The 1954 season, surprisingly, saw the Wolverines back in second place and tied with Wisconsin in the Big Ten; the record was six won, three lost. After defeating the University of Washington, 14-0, the Maize and Blue was set down, 26-7, by Army. A week later, however, Michigan scored a 14-13 victory over a highly regarded Iowa team, coached by former Wolverine star Forest Evashevski, and then defeated Northwestern and Minnesota only to run into a 13-9 upset from Indiana. A 14-7 win over Illinois and a 33-7 upset of Michigan State came before the Wolverines were defeated by Ohio State, 21-7.
The year 1955 began with a great fanfare, built upon the come-back the Wolverines had made with a sophomore-dominated team in 1954, particularly upon the individual prowess of one player, Ron Kramer, left end, whom the critics had belatedly discovered in the latter stages of the 1954 season. In a 42-7 victory over Missouri, Kramer scored 23 points. A 14-7 win over Michigan State followed, and, for the first time, Michigan defeated Army, 26-2. Victories were won over Northwestern, Minnesota, and Iowa, although a series of injuries in which Kramer and Tom Maentz figured handicapped the squad, and the Wolverines were upset by Illinois at Champaign, 25-0. After defeating Indiana, 30-0, the stage was set for the Conference championship game with Ohio State. With the Big Ten title in the balance and the largest crowd ever to witness a game in the Stadium — 97,369, the Maize and Blue went down to a 17-0 defeat at the hands of the Buckeyes. The game ended in disorder. Michigan finished in third place that year, with Ohio winning the title. Michigan State, in second place, was selected as the Conference contestant since the Buckeyes were not eligible, having competed in the Rose Bowl game the year before.
By 1957, in nine seasons under Oosterbaan, Michigan had won fifty-six games, lost twenty-four, and tied twice. In the Western Conference the Wolverines had won forty times, lost fifteen, and tied twice. Percentage-wise in over-all competition, Oosterbaan-coached teams had a .700 mark; in the Conference it was .719. Since 1948 Michigan teams had won or shared the Western Conference title three times, won a national and a Rose Bowl championship, finished second twice, third once, fourth twice, and tied for fifth place another year. Under Oosterbaan's direction, All-Americans have been Dick Rifenburg, end, 1948; Alvin Wistert, tackle, 1948 and 1949; Allen Wahl, tackle, 1949 and 1950; Arthur Walker, tackle, 1954; and Ron Kramer, end, 1955 and 1956.
Track. — The organization of the University Athletic Club in 1874 marked the first formal recognition of track as a University sport. Early track and field competition was limited to athletic tournaments and field days held on the Fair Grounds. Field Day by 1884, however, had become an elaborate program of twenty events. The tournament program differed greatly from a modern track and field program. Listed among the Page 1976events were the three- and ten-mile walking contests, collar and elbow wrestling, catch-as-catch-can wrestling, heavyweight boxing, tug-of-war, Indian clubs, drop kick, standing jump, throwing the baseball, lawn tennis, chasing greased pig, obstruction race, and Rugby. Events which had to do with track and field in the modern sense were the 100-yard dash, the half mile run, the hop-step-and-jump, and the hammer throw. The latter two events, which until fairly recent times were included on the intercollegiate program, have been discontinued.
The first track venture into intercollegiate competition was in 1893, when the Maize and Blue entered the Northwestern Intercollegiate Athletic Association meet and won, Michigan 52; Wisconsin 45; Northwestern, 15. Michigan won again in 1898 and in 1901, under the direction of Coach Keene Fitzpatrick, and entered the Western Conference meet for the first time and won, taking the outdoor title for four straight years. Because Michigan left the Western Conference in 1906, a Maize and Blue track team did not appear again in Conference competition until 1918. While out of the Conference, emphasis in track competition was placed on the Eastern Intercollegiate meet, in which Michigan finished second in 1907 and third for five successive years from 1910 to 1914.
Michigan track for more than sixty years has been in charge of only six men. Keene Fitzpatrick, as already mentioned, came to Michigan in 1894 as football trainer and track coach, and left for Princeton in 1910, to be succeeded by Dr. Alvin C. Kraenzlein, who served until 1912. Steve Farrell was Coach from 1912 until 1930; Charles Hoyt, from 1930 to 1940; J. Kenneth Doherty from 1941 to 1947; Don Canham, Doherty's assistant and a star high jumper, took over in 1948. Although Michigan was not a member of the Western Conference when Farrell was appointed in 1912, his teams won four indoor championships and five outdoor titles, including the 1918 crown, in the first season Michigan was back in the league. Under Hoyt's direction the Maize and Blue won seven outdoor crowns and added eight indoor titles. Doherty led two outdoor and three indoor teams to championships, and Canham captured both titles for two successive years. Despite the fact that Michigan was out of the Western Conference for eleven years, Wolverine track teams by 1956 had won twenty-two outdoor championships and seventeen indoor crowns. Closest rival has been Illinois, a continuous member of the Conference.
Michigan has contributed its share of track competitors to United States and other Olympic teams. Charles Dvorak ('01, '04l) won the pole vault event in 1900 and the championship in 1904. Archie Hahn ('04l), a triple winner at St. Louis in 1904, won the 60-meter dash in 7 seconds, the 100-meter dash in 11 seconds, and took the 200-meter event in 21.6. In the same year Ralph Rose won the shot put with a toss of 48 feet 7 ½ inches as compared to the world record mark of 48 feet 10 inches, which he had set during the regular season. With Dvorak's pole vault performance of 11 feet 6 inches, Michigan won four first places. Rose won the weight event again, in 1908, at London. His winning toss was 46 feet 7 ½ inches. John C. Garrels ('07e) took third place by capturing a second in the 110-meter hurdles. Gayle A. Dull ('08), a distance runner, was also on the squad.
Both Ralph Craig ('11) and Rose were double winners at Stockholm in 1912, although the latter was no longer competing for Michigan. Craig won the 100-meter dash in 10.8 seconds, and repeated in the 200-meter event with a 21.7 performance. Page 1977Rose finished second in the "best hand" event, and Carroll B. Haff ('13, '15l) placed fifth in the 400-meter race. In the Antwerp Games of 1920, Carl Johnson ('20) finished second in the broad jump for the United States. In the Paris Olympics of 1924, DeHart Hubbard won the broad jump with a leap of 24 feet 5 ½ inches, and James Brooker took second in the pole vault. At Amsterdam, in 1928, George (Buck) Hester, sprinter, competed in the dashes for Canada. At the Los Angeles Games in 1932, Eddie Tolan took the 100-meter dash in 10.3 seconds and then captured the 200-meter event in 21.2, setting new records in both events. Ed Turner took fifth in the 800-meter race.
In London, in 1948, Herb Barten finished fourth in the 800-meters, and Eck Koutonen, a broad jumper, competed in the hop-step-jump. Several Michigan trackmen competed in the Games at Helsinki, Finland, in 1952, but none represented the United States. Roland (Fritz) Nilsson took fifth in the shot put for his native Sweden, while Canadian team members John Ross, 800 meters, Jack Carroll, 400 meters, and Roy Pella competed in the discus.
Cross country. — Members of a cross country club, organized in 1901, made up four-mile relay teams, which won the Penn Relays between 1901 and 1906. The 1905 team set a world record in the four-mile event and lowered that mark again in 1906 to 18 minutes 10.4 seconds. The quartet which set the 1906 record included Rowe, Coe, Ramey, and Maloney. Cross country as a varsity sport was not established at Michigan until 1920, and Michigan won its first Big Ten championship in 1922, taking both the individual and team titles. Egbert R. Isbell, a noted distance runner, won the the individual title by covering the five-mile course at Lafayette, Indiana, in 26 minutes 33.2 seconds. Cross country was discontinued as a regular varsity sport in 1934, but from time to time the Wolverines have competed in Conference championships as a means of training distance runners on the track squad. Don McEwen won the individual title over a four-mile course at Washington Park in Chicago in 1949, by covering the distance in 19:44.5. In 1950, on a four-mile emergency course at Washington Park, he set another mark of 19:34.1. Michigan won its only other Conference cross country championship in 1954, scoring 55 points.
Tennis. — Tennis came into vogue in 1880, and an association was formed in 1883. First participation in Western Conference matches took place in 1897, and the first tennis letters were awarded that year. In 1902 at the Western Intercollegiate Tournament in Chicago, Harry Wherry and Henry Danforth won the doubles championship for Michigan, and then Danforth defeated Wherry for the individual crown. Danforth won the individual title again in 1903, and Raymond St. John and Walter Lee won the doubles. The Wolverines continued to win in the limited meet through 1904.
In 1910 full-scale Western Conference tournaments were inaugurated, but since Michigan was out of the Conference at this time, the Maize and Blue did not have another chance at a championship until 1919, when Walter Westbrook, one of the big names in Michigan tennis, won the singles championship. Westbrook then teamed with Nicholas Bartz to win the doubles championship. Repeating with the singles championship in 1920, he went on to engage the great William T. Tilden in the finals of the National Clay Court championships in 1925, forcing Tilden to five straight sets before losing. Westbrook and Harvey Snodgrass defeated Tilden and Wiener for the national doubles championship that year. The versatile Westbrook was also a trackman, winning the Illinois Relays Page 1978pole vault championship with a vault of 12 feet 1/2 inch.
Michigan did not have another individual champion until 1948, when Andy Paton won the singles crown; he and William Mikulich won the doubles crown in the same year. Earlier, Horace Barton and Kingsley Moore had won the 1927 doubles. In 1955 and 1956, under the direction of Coach Bill Murphy, the Wolverines won the Big Ten championship, MacKay and Potter taking the 1955 doubles title and MacKay winning the 1956 individual title; teaming again, they won the doubles. MacKay, a Davis Cup candidate, was invited to England, where he played successfully in a number of matches as one of the younger Davis Cup team candidates. Michigan won team championships in 1941, 1944, 1945, 1955, and 1956, the first official team championship upon a point basis having been established in 1934. Under Murphy's leadership the Wolverines won thirty-one consecutive dual meet victories in 1955-56 and, entering the 1957 season, are still undefeated.
Professor Thomas C. Trueblood (see Part IV: The Department of Speech), who was associated with Michigan athletics for more than fifty years, helped to organize and coach some of the earlier teams; such former players as Lee and Westbrook, Christian Mack, Paul Leidy, James Angell, and Hutchins at various times also served as Coach. John B. Johnstone was Coach from 1929 until 1937, when he was succeeded by LeRoy Weir, who served until 1946. W. Campbell Dixon, who became Coach in 1947, was followed by William Murphy, present mentor.
Golf. — The credit for the introduction of golf at Michigan, in 1901, and for the development of the sport must be given to Professor Trueblood, whose energies in the early years were devoted to both tennis and golf. The first intercollegiate schedule was arranged in 1921 under his direction, and competition began at Western Conference level in 1922. Trueblood retired as Coach in 1935 to be succeeded by Ray O. Courtright, who remained in charge until William Barclay took over in 1945-46. Albert C. Katzenmeyer has been Golf Coach from 1947 to date. From 1922 Michigan has had one of the finest golf records in the Big Ten. Beginning in 1931 the Wolverines won the Big Ten title five years in a row and repeated again in 1943, 1944, and 1945. Further championships came in 1946, 1947, 1949, and 1952, with the 1956 team finishing in the runner-up spot. John Fischer, Big Ten champion for two years and national intercollegiate champion in 1932, won the National Amateur championship in 1936. Charles Kocsis, Big Ten champion for two years, won the National Collegiate title in 1936. Ben Smith was Conference individual champion in 1943, and Ed Schalon won the crown outright in 1947 and tied for it in 1949.
Basketball. — Intercollegiate basketball, one of the most popular indoor sports, has had a rather short history at Michigan. Although it was introduced in 1909 under G. D. Corneal, it was abandoned, to be revived in 1917 by Professor Elmer D. Mitchell, who later became chairman of the Department of Physical Education for Men. Mitchell coached the sport for two seasons, 1917-18 and 1918-19. Edwin J. Mather took charge in 1919 and coached until his death before the 1929 season. He was succeeded by George F. Veenker, who directed the cagers for two seasons before Franklin C. Cappon took over in 1930.
Michigan won its first championship in 1926, sharing the title with Indiana, and in 1927 the Wolverines, with a 10-2 record and a percentage mark of .833, won the title outright. One of the stars Page 1979of those two teams was Bennie G. Oosterbaan, who was selected on a mythical All-American basketball team and led the Big Ten in scoring in 1928. The Wolverines repeated again in 1929, with another 10-2 record. Cappon joined the staff of Princeton University, 1937-39, and Oosterbaan took over until 1946, when he, in turn, was succeeded by Osborne Cowles. Under Cowles's direction the Maize and Blue again won the title in 1947-48 with another 10-2 record. Ernest B. McCoy became Coach in 1948-49, when Cowles left to become coach at the University of Minnesota. McCoy directed activities until 1953, when the present mentor, William J. Perigo, was appointed.
In 1955-56 Ron Kramer set all-time Michigan scoring marks both for an individual game and for the season. He scored 34 points against Northwestern, breaking his own previous mark of 30 points which he had set earlier in the season against Oregon, as Michigan won, 94-76. Several times he also tied the 1949 mark of Mack Supronowicz. Kramer's score of 448 points for the season, with an average of 20.3 points per game, is the best to date for any Michigan player.
Swimming. — Michigan has long been a power in intercollegiate swimming, owing largely to the abilities of Matt Mann, Supervisor Emeritus in Physical Education and Swimming Coach Emeritus, who was in charge from 1924 until 1954, when he was succeeded by Gus Stager, one of his own protégés, and Bruce Harlan, who was placed in charge of the divers. Until recent years, when Ohio State began an upward surge, under Mann's direction Michigan dominated Western Conference swimming. The Michigan-Ohio State swimming rivalry has grown into one of the keenest in intercollegiate circles, and Mann and Mike Peppe, veteran Buckeye coach, over the years staged a remarkable series of duels in Conference races. During the twenty-nine years that Mann coached Michigan swimming teams, sixteen of them won Big Ten titles, and thirteen were winners of National Intercollegiate championships. Under his direction Michigan produced more Olympic swimmers than any other Conference institution. Mann coached the 1952 United States Olympic team that won the championship.
In 1928 a Canadian, Garnet Ault, competed in swimming, and Paul Samson swam for the United States on the winning relay team and also on the water polo squad. James Cristy took third in the 1,500-meter race at Los Angeles in 1932, and Richard Degener finished third in diving in the same year. Five Michigan athletes placed in the Olympics in Berlin in 1936. Degener, competing for the second time, won the springboard diving title; Jack Kasley and Taylor Drysdale also placed. Kasley reached the semifinals of the 200-meter breast stroke, and Drysdale was fourth in the 100-meter back stroke. In 1948 Bobby Sohl finished third in the 200-meter breast stroke. In 1952 three Michigan athletes competed, Burwell (Bumpy) Jones in the 200 meters and in the relay, Ron Gora in the 100 meters, representing the United States, and John Davies, swimming for Australia, won the Olympic crown in the 200-meter breast stroke. In succession of service to the University, Mann is the fourth swimming coach since Jack Jerome directed activities in 1921-22. William Sperry coached the squad in 1923 and Gerald Barnes in 1924. Since 1954 Stager and Bruce Harlan, in charge of diving, have guided Michigan to two successive second places.
Wrestling. — Intercollegiate wrestling dates from 1921. Hevery L. Thorne was the first mat Coach in 1921-22; he, Page 1980in turn, was succeeded by Richard Barker. Clifford Keen, present Coach, took over in 1925, and in thirty-one years he has produced nine Big Ten champions. His teams have finished second on eleven other occasions, and his 1955 and 1956 teams won the Conference title. He also has trained many Olympic team members, including world's heavyweight champion, Ed Don George. Both George and Bobby Hewitt were members of the American squad in the 1928 Olympics, George winning the Olympic heavy-weight title and Hewitt taking runner-up honors in the 128-pound division. Keen was manager of the 1948 United States Olympic mat team in London.
Hockey. — Hockey also had its beginning in 1921, with Richard Barss as Coach (1921-26). Although officially not on the Western Conference athletic program, hockey provided a number of Big Ten teams with competition. In 1921, for example, Michigan met Michigan Agricultural College (Michigan State University), Notre Dame, Michigan Tech, and Wisconsin, and Conference teams Minnesota and Illinois. Eddie Lowrey became Coach in 1926 and produced championship teams; competition was with Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois in 1930, 1931, and 1935, and Michigan tied with Minnesota in 1937. Two of Lowrey's outstanding protégés were John Sherf, who later achieved a reputation as a professional player, from 1933 to 1935, and Vic Heyliger, from 1935 to 1937. Heyliger later starred with the Chicago Blackhawks, and then became coach at the University of Illinois. In 1944-45 he succeeded Lowrey as Coach, and Michigan rose to a major position in the rapidly growing intercollegiate ice sport. Under Heyliger's direction the Wolverines achieved an outstanding record, winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship eight times since the title play-offs were established at Colorado Springs in 1948. The Wolverines also won the Western Intercollegiate Hockey League crown in 1956 and tied with Minnesota for it in 1952. In the Winter Games at Cortina, Italy, in 1956, Willard Ikola was goalie on the U. S. Hockey team, and John Matchefts was a wing. Michigan's record, since 1921, includes 609 games played, 364 won, 211 lost, and 34 tied. Under Barss, of 54 games played, 30 were victories, 20 were losses, and 4 were ties. Lowrey's record included a total of 279 games played, of which Michigan won 124, lost 135, and tied 20. Since 1944-45 the Wolverines have been victorious in 211 contests, have lost 56, and tied 10.
Gymnastics. — Although gymnastics was conducted on a nonvarsity level for a number of years, it did not become a varsity sport until 1931. Wilbur West coached the first team, which, although it lost all four of its dual meets, finished fifth in the Big Ten. The next two years the Wolverines took fourth place in the Big Ten. The 1932 team won one meet and lost three, while in 1933 the only meet engaged in was against the Detroit Turnverein, the Maize and Blue winning 437.5 to 427. The sport was discontinued in 1933 and not resumed until 1948, when it was re-established on a varsity level, with Newton C. Loken as Coach. It has developed steadily, and the team finished in second place in 1950 and in 1956. Since 1948 Michigan has won forty-nine and lost sixteen meets, being undefeated in seven straight meets in 1956. Edward Gagnier, Canadian all-around champion, is perhaps the most outstanding performer.
Fencing. — Fencing was an official varsity sport from 1927 through 1933-34 but was discontinued at the end of that season. It was coached by John B. Johnstone and during the period of its existence the record included 21 victories, 7 losses, and 1 tie.