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January 01, 1948 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1948-01-01

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, w .. .« ..._.,. _

Nation's Cac esNameCrisler


of the


Ayone Could
Star Behind'M'
All-American Credits
His Success 'to Mates
Despite the glowing adjective.F
heaped upon. All-American Bob
Chamuis, he can ^till wear his ole
size seven headgear.
Chappuis himself is the first to
admit that he owes hi~ success as
thLe Big Nine passing champion
ahd total offensive leader for the
last two seasons to other members
of the squad.
"Anyone passing behind the
protection that the line gave me
could have done as well," he
pointed out.
In fact, the sturdy Wolverine
tailback went through the 1946
campaign with a broken bone in
his right wrist for only one reason.
"Chap" knew that in an x-ray the
injury was certain to show up,
and he would be benched before
he even began.
He put off the examination un-
til the last contest was over be-
cause, "The time to break into the
starting lineup is prior to the first
game. If I hadn't, there were so
many capable candidates around
who could have made good behind
our front wall that I'd never have
become a first-stringer by return-
ing in the middle of the season."
So without bothering to tape
his wrist after the opener, the
Toledo, Ohio, scrapper compiled
1,039 yards running and passing
C :n seven Conference games, and
was recognized as Michigan's
most potent offensive weapon
since Tom Harmon.
According to Chappuis, the bril-
liantly unorthodox signal calling
of Howard Yerges was largely re-
sponsible for Chap's 1,019 yard
total, his 39 out of 71 completed
passes, and his seven touchdown
tosses this year.
A prime example of Yerges skill
came in the Wisconsin game, when
he caught the Badgers completely
off guard. On fourth down and
two on the six yard line, he called
for a Chappuis pass and it clicked
for the first touchdown.
The element of deception enters
the picture every time Yerges
hands the ball to Chap, whose
passing specialty is all the more
efficient because the opposition
;never knows what to expect.
Unlike other passers who fade
15 yards behind the line of
scrimmage, Chappuis seldom re-
treats from the tailback slot
after the shift into the single'
wingback formation. He runs
out to the side or into the line
and his protection forms around
R him like a cup until he spots his
receiver and fires. This system
gives him the opportunity to
sweep wide, to cut in off tackle,
to jump pass, or to flip a long
A master of the air lanes, he.
leads his receivers with what the
coaches call a "heavy" ball-to a
point usually behind the secondary
where they can snare the ball in
full flight.
Endowed wtih a passers sixth
sense, "split vision," Chappuis can
pick out his receiver after one
glance over the field. If none of
his teammates are free, he won't
throw a desperation pass in the
excitement of being rushed.

Undefeated Season Gains
Honor for Michigan Pilot
Matty Bell of SMU Places Second in Poll;
Lynn Waldorf Third, Frank Leahy Fourth
Herbert Orrin (Fritz) Crisler, suave master strategist of the un-
beaten, untied Michigan football team, has been chosen Coach of the
Year for 1947.
The grey-thatched mentor, who piloted the Wolverines' most-
point hungry grid machine since 1905, this became the 13th winner of
the New York World Telegram's annual Coach-of-the-Year award,
succeeding Earl (Red) Blaik as the top man in football.
A total of 272 coaches cast secret ballot in the 1947 contest to se-
lect their own Coach of the Year, rater by many as the most realistic
award of the football season.
Receiving 68 first-place votes, Crisler was followed by Matty
Bell of Southern Methodist, Lynn Waldorf of California,
Frank Leahy, Notre Dame, Lou Little, Columbia, Stuart: Hol-
comb, Purdue, and Bob Higgins, '
One of the outstanding figures
in football for the past two dec-
ades, Crisler has always been a M ann Ford D
leading contender for Coach-of-n
the-Year selection almost since n1') *
the idea of a confidential poll was Enti in o11ej
conceived in 1935 by Joe Williams,
Scripps-Howard sports columnist. In the course of his offensive-
Three years ago the Wolverine
pigskin tutor finished third, b defensive experiments, Coach
hind Carrol Widdoes of Ohio State Fritz Crisler has developed the
and Blaik. Back in 1940 he was best "end" in college football. "Its"
fourth behind Clark Shaughnes- name is Bob Mann and Lenny
sy. He has never failed to poll a Ford.
considerable number of votes. Neither Mann, the slender
Four principles of selection were 168-pounder, nor Big Lenny at
laid down by the poll committee: 6-5 and 215 pounds were ranked
(1) Record for 1947 (not neces- with Columbia's Swiacki, Mis-
sarily unbeaten); (2) schedule issippi Poole, or Southern Cali-
(strength of opposition; (3) me- fornia's Cleary, by the All-
terial available; (4) sportsman- American selectors, but that's
ship and influence on players, because they were considered
Crisler's brilliant direction in each singly.
of his team's nine victories cov- It is doubtful if any of the
ers every category to the fullest above trio can generate the all
extent. around efficiency of Mann and
When informed of the great Ford. On offense, Swiacki and
honor bestowed upon him, Cris- Poole have caught more passes
ler said he was "very pleased in than Mann, but the swivel hipped
being selected" but he added, Wolverine is one of the deadliest
"There are others more deserv- broken field runners in the na-
ing of the honor-the maor tion.
credit for it goes to my assist- Only vicious tackling Minne-
ants and the boys themselves. sota was able to bottle up Mann
Art Valpey, Benny Oosterbaan once he got into the secondary,
and Jack Blott did all the without yielding a lot of addi-
coaching and deserve the praise, tional yardage.
I just stood around trying to During the 1946 season, he es-
look impressive. tablished a new Big Nine record
Crisler, who couldn't make his for yards gain per pass comple-
high school football team, is one -
of the game's most conspicuous
successes. He has made a career
of football triumphs snce he wass
percuaded by Amos Alonzo Stagg SMARTEST HO
to become assistant coach at the
University of Chicago in 1921.Michigan Th
Born in Earlville, Ill., on Jan. 12,
1899, Crisler entered high school Our S
as a 92-pound freshman. It is said
that he and a crippled youngster BRANDED FULL-FASHI
were the only two who didn't go
out for football. Later his family Also Comp
moved away to Mendotta, and
Fritz tried out, but never made a BLOUSES - SWEATERS
From a poor family, only hope
of going to college was a high
scholastic average. He earned a
scholarship to Chicago with a
94 average, and had to maintain
a B average to keep it. He did,
and missed Phi Betta Kappa
on a technicality while playing
football, basketball and base- F O R U
This introduction to football at
Chicago was accidental. Stagg;DA
famed veteran coach, dodged a
wide end run and ran into Cris-
ler on practice field. A nr
"Young man, if you are so curi-
ous about football, why don't you
get a uniform?" said Stagg.
It was Stagg who named himnO
"Fritz" after Sophomore Chisler V IS 171
had botched three plays hand-
"Fritz" after Sophomore Crisler
ness, Stagg said, "You are Fritz

from now on, after the master
violinist-not because you resem-
ble him in any way, but because
you are so different. .ndaa ./
urisler remained with Stagg
until 1930 when Minnesota for a
the second time of fered the
head job. He brought Minne- <='O=o=><=o=
sota out the dumps so fast that
Princeton, which won only three -
games in three years, beckoned
the personable young fellow
with handsome cash bait.
His career at Princeton is well
known, unbeaten teams in 1933
and '35. Then he accepted the of-
See CRISLER, Page 4

Crisler Adds
Personal Note
To Practices
Herbert Orrin 'Fritz" Crisler may
be the "coach of the year," but his
relatonship with the members of
the team is a purely personal one.
After t he Wolverines had
avenged the 1946 defeat suffered
at the hands of Illinois, the Mich-
igan mentor said to the squad,
"Okay, boys, let's make these
practice sessions fun." And he pro-
ceeded to follow his own advice by
uncovering a dry sort of humor at
daily drills.
His attitude has increased even
more the respect his 'boys' hold
for him, but they continue to call
him "Mr. Crisler."

evelop Into Best
;e Grid Ranks

tion. That despite the fact that
he didn't really get started until
the midway mark of the season
was reached.
He broke his own record this
year in spite of the fact that he
was used extensively as a de-
coy for Bump Elliott, Dick Rif-
enburg, and Howie Yerges.
To add to his value as an offen-
sive threat, Mann runs off a spe-
cially designed end-around play,
dreamed up by back~field coach
Bennie Oosterbaan to take advan-
tage of the elusiveness of Mr.
Mann. He ran it for 51 yards
against Northwestern and that
was just about the prettiest play
of the year.
When the opposition gets the
ball, the other half moves in. Ac-
cording to the Associated Press,
"Lenny has the best pair of hands
in football. Not even Joe Louis
would be too tough for him.
Blockers fly off this devastating
defensive --end like wind driven
He's been three years learn-
ing how to play end for Crisler.
In the process he's become a
See MANN-FORD, Page 6

T'en Coaches
Have Led M'
Grid Squads
During the 68 years in which
Michigan has fielded a football
team, there have been ten men
who have directed the efforts of
Wolverine teams.
From 1879 until 1891 Michigan
did not have a coach, but in that
year Coach Murphy took over and
led the Maize and Blue to a 3 and
5 season. 'Following him wvere
Barbour from 1892- 1894 w
record was 12 and 8 and McCauley
who compiled a 26-3-1 record dur-
ing the three years. Herbert fol-
lowed for a three year stay and
had a 24-3-1 record and Lea in
1900 compiled a 7-2-1 season. a
Fielding Yost, during his 25
years boasted a record of 165 wins
as against 27 losses and to ties.
In 1924 Little had a 6-2 year and
Tad Wieman in 1927-28 had a
record of 9-6-1.

Crisler Establishes Impressive Record
During Ten Coaching Years at Michigan

eatre Building






"Coach of the Year" Fritz Cris-
ler, the man who makes the Wol-
verines growl, might easily be
nominated for the honor of "coach
of the decade" if the sportswriters
had gone a little deeper into Cris-
ler's history at Michigan.
For ten years, Crisler has been
pulling the strings here in Ann
Arbor, and over the span of those
same ten years, he has compiled a
record that is an awesome thing
to behold.
Eighty-nine times he has sent
the Wolverines to the post, and
on seventy of those occasions he
has welcomed them back into
the winner's circle. Only sixteen
opponents have been able to
humble the Maize and Blue,
while three enemies have es-
caped with ties.
Points have rolled out of the
Michigan machine like autos roll
off an assembly line. The lights
on the scoreboard have flashed to
the tune of 2200 markers during
the past half score years, and in
cold hard figures, that means that
the Wolverines have averaged four
touchdowns every time they have
taken the field.
Crisler's teams have shown no
partiality. It has been, "Come one,
come all-and take your chances
with the rest of them." From Col-
umnbus to New York, from Iowa
City to New Haven, from Berkeley
to Cambridge, the Michigan maul-
ers have cruised. Only way down
below the Mason-Dixon line have
they escaped the claws of the Wol-
aerines-and the schedule makers
from the cotton-country don't ap-
pear overly anxious to tangle with
the damnyankees from Ann Arbor.
There have been some big
games during the past decade.
Season after season, when the
"game of the year" rolls around,
the Maize and Blue can be
counted on to be one of the

teams in the arena. The Crisler
era has been crammed full of
memorable battles. There was
the California game at Berkeley
when Tommy Harmon, celebrat-
ing his birthday, stunned the
Golden Bears with four touch-
down jaunts of upwards of 55
yards to lead Michigan to a 41-0
There have been the games on
the Atlantic seaboard, when Cris-
ler has returned to his old Ivy
League stamping grounds to liter-
ally haunt the Yale and Harvard
teams which gave him trouble
during his stay at Princeton.
There was a great battle with
Pennsylvania, a battle in which
Francis Reagan and his Quaker
teammates were expected, by
the sportswriters of the East, to
wreck the Michigan machine-
Harmon and all. Reagan went
back to Philadelphia after that
one, and all he had left to show
for his trip was a piece of a jer-
sey with a big "98" which the
Hoosier Hammer had left behind
on one of two scoring jaunts
which brought a 14-0 win home
to the Big Nine.
And who can forget the game in
1942 when the Wolverines, West-
ern Conference Champions, racked
up three touchdowns in a single
period against the Irish of Notre
Dame to become the only team in
history ever to rock the Rockne
boys to such a tune.
There have been losers too; a
couple of 7-6 heart-breakers up
on the Minneapolis tundras which
cost conference crowns, a great
game with Army which the Black
Knights won by the skin of Glen
Davis' teeth, and a 13-9 defeat by
Illinois which lost, or rather, post-
poned a Rose Bowl bid.
Crisler uses a squad system.
In recent years he has consis-

tently employed offensive and
defensive units instead of mak-
ing individual substitutions.
Such a system is certainly not
conducive to the development of
outstanding stars. However dur-
ing his ten year regime in Ann
Arbor, nine of his ball-players
have been named All-American.
Beginning with Ralph Heikki-
nen back in 1938, the Wolverines
have produced five All-American
linemen, including end Ed Frutig,
tackles Al Wistert and Merv Pre-
gulman, and Julie Franks, des-
tined to be one of Michigan's
greatest guards until he was strik-
en with tuberculosis in 1943. Four
of Crisler's backs have also been
named to the mythical all-star
elevens. Bob Westfall and Bill
Daley made the grade from the
fullback post, Bob Chappuis is
this year's choice, and of course,
the immortal Tommy Harmon has
been called by many, "the greatest
of them all."
It's been a great ten years for
Michigan football, this Crisler era,
and it is only fitting that the tenth
year should be marked as it has
been; with a national champion
with no apologies whatsoever to
Frank Leahy). As for the future-
well, it looks pretty Rosy from
this vantage point.
.. ....'DO YOU KNOW that
the first game played in the
Michigan stadium was against
Ohio Wesleyan, not Ohio State
in 1927. 17,483 fans turned out
in the cold and rain to watch
theWolverines repel the Ohio
invader, 33-0.


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