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October 22, 1970 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-22

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Page Eight:


Thursday, October 22, 1970




Paid Political Advertisement

Hill Auditorium
Sunday-October 25, 1970
4:00 P.M.

In the fall of 1946, an about-
to-be-discharged Marine came
to the practice fields at Ferry
Field looking for his brother
who played on the Michigan
football team. He approached
Les Etter, then sports informa-
tion director, and asked when
the team would begin practice.
Etter, who took the boy to be*
about 17 and knew by his size
(it was75-10", 160) that he
didn't play football, said they'd
be out shortly and asked him
who his brother was.
The response was "Pete El-
liott," and Etter did a double
take. Obviously this small, young
man had to be Bump Elliott, a
halfback with Purdue people had
been talking about during the
1943 and 1944 seasons before
he began active duty in the
service. Pete had mentioned in
passing at the beginning of the"
school year that his brother was
hoping to enroll at Michigan if
he was discharged in time and
Etter hadn't thought about it
again until Bump was in front
of him.
As Etter pointed Bump in the
direction of Yost Field House,
Pete was just heading toward
practice. The two red heads
held their reunion on the fields
where they were to sharpen and
refine the exploits which were
to become almost legendary and
interwoven into the Michigan
athletic tradition of the p a s t
twb and a half decades.
It was by the lucky accident
of a certain quarterback's liking
for Ann Arbor, a certain half-
back's dislike for engineering,
and naval training programs
that this reunion took place on

mold' Michigan athletic tradition


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Union Lobby

Rackham Auditorium'
FridoyOctober 30, 1970
8:00 P.M.
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Ferry Field rather than some
other Big 10 practice field.
Bump had entered Purdue in
July of 1943 with the N a v y
V-12 program. He played dur-
ing the 1943 season and part of
the 1944 season before being put
on active duty at the university
in November. He was sent to
Hawaii and China for 11 months
ending in August, 1946, prior to
his discharge.
Pate went to a small college
in Missouri while in the Navy
V-5 program. In 1945 he chang-
ed to the V-12 program and was
sent to Michigan. He, more so
than any other athlete of his
era, took advantage of t h e
wartime rule allowing freshmen
to compete in varsity sports. He
states, "I wanted to go out and
see how I'd do." He became a
starter in football, basketball
and golf, winning 12 letters, the
only man ever to accomplish this
feat at Michigan.
He was discharged in
1946 and decided to return to
Michigan. At this time Bump
was nearing discharge and was
thinking that he did not want
to continue with the engineer-
ing program he had been in at
Purdue. "It was easy for me to
be talked into going to Mich-
igan and we kind of wanted to
go to school together."
Bump had two years of eli-
gibility remaining and says, "I
hoped to play at Michigan."
Like Pete, his hopes were born
out. He won two letters in foot-
ball and two as an outfielder
in baseball.
The first team to which the
Eiliotts affixed their combined
talents was the 1946 edition of
the Wolverines. They added
their names to those of many
other Michigan greats in lay-
ing the groundwork for the
1947 team, considered one of the
best teams Michigan has ever
On that team Bump played
wingback and right defensive
back and Pete, a tailback in
1945, was a quarterback and left
defensive back. The team went
6-2-1 and "hit their stride in
mid-year" according to Bump.
"The '47 team started jelling
in 1946 and by year's end we
weer a hot ball club. We got off
to a fast start the next season,
beating Michigan State 55-0,
Stanford 49-12, and Pitt 69-0."
There weer only two games
that they didn't win by 21 points
or more. In both games, the El-
liotts were instrumental in turn-
ing the tide for the Maize and
In successive weeks, Minnesota
and Illinois managed to throttle
the Wolverines' attack. Th e
Gophers were primed for an up-
set and they were leading with a
half minute remaining in the
first half. Bob Chappius, All-
American at tailback and Mich-

igan's leader in total career
yardage, relates the play which
reversed fortunes.
"The ball was at mid-field and
(Howard) Yerges, the quarter-
back, called a timeout. He told
us that we hadn't been behind
at halftime all year. He added
that this play had to go all the
way. It was the longest pass we
had and Bump was the primary
"Since Minnesota had been
giving a tremendous rush all
day, I told Bump I wouldn't have
much time so I'd just throw
the ball where he thought he'd
be. He said he'd be in the corn-
er and that's where I put it. I
didn't see what happened be-
cause I'd been snowed under,
but I could tell by the crowd's
roar that Bump and the ball
had met."
Manifesting the symptoms of
a midseason letdown, the Wol-
verines also had problems with
the Illini. Behind 7-0, P e t e
came into the huddle and call-
ed a play that wasn't in the
playbook. Ed McNeill, an end
on the team recalls, "None of
us questioned it when Pete
called this unknown play. Coach
Crisler always taught us that
only the quarterback talked in
the huddle. He sent Bump in
motion and had Chappius throw
to him. Bump caught it at the
two yard line and we scored on
the next play." It was written up
as the play of the week and
Pete always responded that it
was "a brilliant piece of strat-
egy" when asked about it.

the 1968 team, felt that Elliott
showed this personal interest
with his great ability to remem-
ber names. "While I was being
recruited and after I'd met him,
I came for a visit with so me
friends from high school and I
saw Coach Elliott. I was with
this bunch of people and he re-
membered me. This set the tone
for my whole stay at Michigan."
Two of his quarterbacks re-
call incidents where they were
especially impressed with their
coach as a man. Dick Vidmer
remembers that after he had
had what he calls a "less than
mediocre" game the Detroit

The redheads, Bump and Pete



"I didn't see what happened because I'd been
snowed under, but I could tell by the crowd's
roar that Bump and the ball had met."
-Bob Chappuis, 'M' tailback, 1947
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Bump won the game for- the
Wolverines with a 74 yard punt
return for a touchdown.
Fritz Crisler still considers
Bump "the greatest wingback
I've ever coached and ever saw
play. Pete was the pivot of our
defense and on offense he had a
brilliant grasp of strategy and
great instinct."
Bennie Oosterbaan, their back-
field coach and Pete's head
coach his senior year, describes
them as, "wonderful athletes
who were easy to coach. All the
manly superlatives apply to
them both on and off the field."
During the 1948 season, Bump
was an assistant coach while
completing his graduate work.
Pete, at quarterback and de-
fensive half was keeping the El-
liott name on the All-Ameri-
can rosters. After Pete's grad-
uation, both went to Oregon
State as assistant coaches under
Kip Taylor.
The Elliott saga at Michigan
was dormant for several years
until Bump returned in 1957 as
assistant backfield coach under
Oosterbaan. Two years later he
moved up to the head coaching
spot. His overall record was 51-
42-2 and under his tutelage
Michigan won the conference
title in 1964 and the 1965 Rose
Bowl. The general consensus of
his players was that he was sin-
cerely interested in his players
as people and not just bodies to
put out on the field.
Stan Broadnax, a guard on
For the student body:
' Sebring

papers were writing that Elliott
had lost confidence in him.
"After training table the day
the articles appeared, coach
called me over and said he had
faith in me and was with me. I
really appreciated that and it
made me feel a great deal bet-
Michigan lost the Ohio State
game in 1967 and Denny Brown
had been at quarterback for the
last series of plays during
which the game ended. "Coach
Elliott was into the tunnel go-
ing to congratulate Woody. I
went up to him and shook his
hand. He said 'I know you tried
hard', but his expression said
that he knew there would be
another chance and that we'd
give 100 per cent. It turned out
we were 8-2 the next season."
That 8-2 season was 1968,
Bump's last as head coach. After
the season he was appointed as-
sociate athletic director and Bo
Schembechler b e c a m e head
However, there was another
Elliott waiting in the wings to
carry on the football portion of
the Elliott tradition at Michi-
gan. Pete's oldest son, Bruce,
came to Ann Arbor as one of
several freshman quarterback
prospects. During spring prac-
tice in 1969, Bruce was switched
to the defensive secondary when
it became apparent that Don
Moorhead was well on his way
to solving Michigan's field gen-
eral problems.
Bruce was the fourth defen-
sive back last season and his
only interception provided one
of the highlights of the Wolver-
ines' massacre of Illinois last
November in Champaign, the
scene of his high school years.

He caught the ball at the Il-
linois 40 and, with the aid of a
great block by teammate Barry
Pierson, ran it in for a touch-
down. "I really wanted to get a
touchdown, an interception or
just something in this game. It
was something I've always
dreamed about."
This year Bruce's brother,
Dave, joins him at Michigan.
Dave is an end on the freshman
Both feel they came to Michi-
gan because they had always
been exposed to it and had a
very favorable opinion of it. Al-
so, like their father and uncle,
they thought it would be fun to
go to school together .Dave adds,
"Wherever Bruce went, I would
have been influenced by it."
However, they were and are
more aware of a Michigan tra-
dition rather than an Elliott
tradition at Michigan when they
were thinking about schools to
attend. Bruce observes, "It's a
class school and you always hear
a great deal about its overall
excellence. As far as an Elliott
tradition, I don't really think
about it, I just go out there
and play and do my best. I'm
not trying to uphold any tradi-
Dave expresses a similar view,
"I don't feel I have to prove I'm
that good. If I don't do as well,

I'm not breaking a tradition I
don't feel is there."
They may not feel there is a
tradition or that they must live
up to feats of their progenitors
on the field, but others feel they
measure up quite well with the
tradition of fine, outstanding
gentlemen that the Elliott name
brings to mind of anyone who
has been associated with them.
Schembechler talks of Bruce,
"He's a wonderful boy. A very
enthusiastic and smart player,
with good ability and a great
competitive urge."
A fellow teammate, Don Moor-
head, says, "Before you meet
Bruce and when you first hear
of him you expect him to be
just like his father and uncle.
Then when you meet and get to
know him, you realize that he
matches them perfectly. He's a
quiet, conscientious gentleman,
who fits the image of a son of
Pete Elliott and nephew of
He would say he doesn't fit
into the image and so would his
brother. He's going to make it
on his own, as Bruce, and not
have to try to live up to their
reputation. But he doesn't real-
ize that by being the Bruce he
is, he is living up to that repu-
As all the papers and report-
ers were saying after Bruce's in-
terception when they were so
impressed with him on-and
off-field, "He's out of the Elliott
mold-quality." There might not
be an Elliott tradition, but there
is a mold and two young men
continue to fit it.

-Daily-Denny Gainer
A second generation, Bruce and Dave

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on subject matter. (Black and white preferable.
Nothing larger than 15"x16"). All work will be
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call Katrina at 761-3314 or 'Ensian office, 764-



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