r SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1949
THE MICHIGAN DlAtL'
Keen Starts 25th Mat Season
By CY CARLTON
Michigan opens it wrestling sea-
son against the University of Pitts-
burgh on January seventh and
that day will be the start of the
25th year of coaching Maize and
Blue mat squads for wrestling
mentor Cliff Keen.
* * *
Since 1925 Maize and Blue grap-
plers have been tutored exclusive-
ly by this veteran of the game.
* * *
KEEN HAS established a win-
,ing tradition for Michigan mat
squads. His teams have achieved
101 wins against 40 losses, produc-
ed three Conference champion-
ships in 1930, 1938 and 1944 and
have sent five men to the Olym-
pic games, as well as producing 13
Michigan traditionally occupies
a strong runner-up role in con-
* * *
ference competition, although
they have copped three titles.
Keen's mat squads have finishes
second in the Conference Cham-
pionships seven times.
KEEN'S ONLY departure fror
the Michigan wrestling scene wa:
in the seasons of 1943-45 when
he conducted physical education
training courses for naval air ca-
dets in various pre-flight schools
Wally Weber, all-around man
of Michigan sports, took over
during that period, and guided
the Wolverines to a Conference
crown in 1944.
During the past two seasons,
Michigan wrestlers have taken the
role of slow starters and quick fin-
ishers. In 1948, the Wolverines
finished second behind Purdue, by
virtue of a single point. In 1949,
they finished third, two points be-
hind Purdue. Both squads had
enjoyed in and out dual meet sea-
MICHIGAN HAS produced six
conference champs and nine fin-
alists in the period from 1944-49.
Jim Galles took championships
twice for Michigan in 1944 and
Bill Courtright and Wayne
Smith took honors in 1946.
Courtright took the 155-pound
title and Smith snatched the 136
These two were the bright lights
of a team which won four and
lost three in dual competition but
again recovered quickly to take
third place in the Big Nine meet.
Jim Smith, 1950 captain won
the 136 pound championship in
1948 and was runner-up last year.
The amazing Jack Powers, wrest-
ling for the first time for Michi-
gan, developed rapidly from a poor
dual meet season of two wins
and six losses, to take the 165
pound attraction in 1949. Powers
upset Clarence Self of Wisconsin
in the finals to take the title.
NE V IS
GRUNT AND GROAN-On the balcony in Yost Field House 'above the activity of the track and'
basketball teams on the floor, Coach Cliff Keen (standing) directs the Wolverine wrestling team.
Long and tiresome afternoons are spent here perfecting the skills which have brought 13 Michigan
men to national championships.
* * * * * * *
Decade A Michigan ad Great Team
C H I L D R E N' S P A R A D I S E-- A youthful station mistress starts a train tour of a chil-
dren's town on the outskirts of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, administered by the youngsters themselves.
.NEW VICE CHIEF ---
Rear Admiral Lynde Dupuy Mc-
Cormick (above) was named
Vice Chief of Naval Operations
by Admiral Forrest P. Sherman,
new Chief of Naval Operations.
Ten years ago this month a*
wrestling squad was working out
in Yost Field House which was
destined to become one of the
greatest in Michigan mat history.
.The story of the 1939-40 team
is unusual. Although they did not
win the Conference champion-
ship, the squad had some of the
finest mat talent ever to wrestle
for the Maize and Blue.
COACHED BY Cliff Keen, then
in his 15th year as wrestling men-
tor, the team was captained by
Forrest "Butch" Jordan, six feet
tall and called the "strongest"
wrestler ever to compete for
They suffered an in and. out
dual meet season, winning five
and losing two, with one tie.
Only during the Conference and
NCAA championships did - the
Wolverines rise to the heights,
which was to earn them fame as
a "great" Michigan mat aggrega-
Michigan fought tooth and nail
in the Conference championships,
finally losing to Indiana by a
slim one point margin.
THREE MICHIGAN men won
Conference titles: Harland Dan-
ner at 155 pounds, Don Nichols at
175 pounds, and Captain Jordan
Bill Combs was runner-up in
the 145 pound entry, and sopho-
more Jim Galles, hinting at the
future greatness he was to at-
tain as captain of the 1944 Con-
ference championship squad,
was runner-up in the 165 pound
Michigan then entered in the
National Collegiates at Cham-
paign, Illinois. The Maize and
Blue grapplers scored ten points
and placed third in the meet,
finishing behind Oklahoma A&M
Nichols won the NCAA 175
pound title and was named the
outstanding wrestler in the
tournament, but despite his
triumph and the contributions of
the other team members, Michi-
gan had to settle for third.
29 h Christmas Cards
-u 24 Hr. Service
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