THE MICHIGAN DAILY
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1953
PAGE SIX FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1953
_____ by Ivan N. Kaye
Rinkmen Face Rough Road
In Defense of NCAA Crown
'M' Matmen Prepare for Indiana, Illinois
T WAS A GLOOMY DAY in the early autumn of 'the year 1919,
and a tall, bespectacled sophomore stood with books in hand
intently watching a practice session of the University of Chicago
varsity football team.
The undergraduate was a pre-medical student, whose long hours
of study had left him fatigued, and so he had decided to stroll down
to the practice field and watch the drills.
The venerable Amos Alonzo Stagg, then in his middle fifties,
made it a practice to run up and down the sidelines following
the course of the scrimmaging. As one play developed, Stagg
rushed along the sideline and smashed into the young pre-med;
,the collision flooring the coach. Stagg arose furiously, "If you
want to knock people down," he bellowed, "go put on a football
suit!" Then as an afterthought he demanded to know the stu-
The pre-med, who by this time was quaking, managed to stammer
'Crisler, sir, Herbert Crisler."
The Beginning .. .
HUS BEGAN, although neither Amos Alonzo Stagg nor Herbert
Orin Crisler knew it at the time, one of the most colorful careers
in the history of athletics. In the years that followed, Crisler was
to become not only one of Stagg's greatest players, but almost a son
to the fabled "Grand Old Man of the Midway."
Following Stagg's orders, young Crisler donned the practice garb
of the Chicago Maroons. He needed a great deal of coaching, this
lean splinter from nearby Earlville, but Stagg envisioned great things
and made him into an end.
Crisler's blocking was weak, and it drove the coach to such
dispair that on one occasion he roared "I'm going to call you
Fritz, youngman! Do you know why?" Crisler shook his head.
"Because Fritz Kreisler's violin soothes me, and your blocking
does just the opposite!" snapped Stagg. The nickname has re-
mained ever since.
Crisler's playing reached such a high level during his three years
on the Chicago varsity that he was named to the third team All-
America eleven of Walter Camp in 1921.
CRISLER GRADUATED from the University with nine letters in
football, baseball, and basketball, and a near Phi Beta Kappa
average in a pre-medical curriculum. Moreover, a deep bond of
friendship had grown between Stagg and his favorite pupil.
Late in 1929 when the University of Minnesota asked Stagg to
recommend someone as a candidate for the vacant position of head
football coach, he unhesitatingly submitted the name of Fritz Crisler.
So it was that in the midst of the great depression Crisler
trundled off to the land of the lofty pines to take over the gridiron
reigns, at Minneapolis.
The Paul Bunyon country was in an uproar over the departure
of the fiery "Doc" Spears. Bad feeling ran high and there was an
atmosphere of unfriendliness when Crisler arrived on the campus.
Many influential alumni wanted a Minnesota graduate for the posi-
tion, and some even said so in public utterances.
CRISLER PLUNGED into the task of improving the Minnesota
football situation, and in this capacity he became acquainted
with a burly young guard candidate named Clarence Munn.
Munn became an All-American in 1931 and his association with
Crisler was to bring him in seven years to the campus of the Univer-
sity of Michigan as line coach for Fritz's first eight teams at Ann
Crisler also struck up an acquaintance with a young track-
man named Les Etter, and it was the close personal friendship
between the two that brought Etter to Michigan as Athletic
Crisler's style of coaching did not please the Gophers. He was not'
given to join in the scrimmages and he had a penchant for stirring
locker room orations that fell upon the deaf ears of the strapping
lads from the Mesabi country. He quickly acquired the reputation
of being "too dignified" to handle the rough and tumble Minnesota
A Call from Princeton.. .
BESPECTACLED FRITZ showed an army of doubters in 1930 that
civilized methods could bring results by coaching the Gophers
to a scoreless deadlock with Wop Warner's heavily favored Stanford
powerhouse. The moral victory sent Minnesota grid stock zooming
and converted scores to the Crisler fold.
In the spring of 1932 there came a call from Princeton and
Crisler, still feeling keenly the animosity of those Minnesota alumni
who wanted a fellow graduate at the coaching helm, packed his
bags and headed for Old Nassau.
He turned the tame Princeton Tiger into a ferocious Ivy
League champion in one year. His squads in 1933 and 1935 had
perfect seasons and he was hailed as the outstanding young coach
in the East.
At Princeton he ran into the same alumni trouble as at Minnea-
polis. There were those who had to have a Princeton man as head
coach even though a Chicago graduate was giving their long-suffer-
ing Tiger a diet of raw meat.
HOMESICK FOR THE Middle West and the Big Ten country, Fritz
jumped at the opportunity extended to him by Michigan in the
spring of 1938.
He found at Ann Arbor a scene much like that at Minneapolis,
where the coach had just departed after going through some trying
seasons and the alumni pressure for a winning team had reached
The Wolverine had been dormant for four long years during
which time 22 defeats had been inflicted. Crisler remedied all
that however, and with such greats as Tommy Harmon, Ed
Frutig and Forest .Evashevski leading the way, Michigan climbed
back among the nation's football .elite.
Under Crisler's masterful guidance Michigan rolled to 71 vic-
tories as against only 16 setbacks during the decade from 1938
IN HIS FINAL CAMPAIGN he was acclaimed both Coach and Man
of the Football Year. His team is considered to have been the
greatest in modern football, and reached its zenith on the sun-baked
turf of the Rose Bowl where it massacred Southern California 49-0.
Satisfied with his performance, and sorely pressed by the conflict-
ing duties of football coach and athletic director, Crisler stepped down
after the Rose Bowl game, turning over the reins to a loyal son of
Some men are indeed fortunate in that they are able to look
back through their lives and discover a turning point which set-
them on the road to success.
For Herbert Orin Crisler that turning point was an accidental
collision with old Alonzo Stagg more than three decades ago on the
Midway of the University of Chicago. A young pre-med decided to
forsake the profession of Hippocraties, and Michigan and the sports
world have gained the benefits of that decision ever since.
By HANLEY GURWIN
Michigan's puckmen open their
1953-54hockey season tonight as
they meet the Redmen of McGill
University in what may turn out
to be the beginning of a long
rough road for the Maize and Blue
The opening face-off for both
tonight and tomorrow's games will
be at 8 o'clock at the Hill Street
WHILE THE Wolverines will
just be playing with several new
faces on the ice, the invaders from
Montreal are returning to Ann Ar-
bor with a stronger squad than the
one which dumped the Michigan
sextet in two meetings here last
Back from last year's team are
defensemen Ron Robertson, Len
Shaw and Frank Slavin. Robert-
son, who is fast, tricky, and pos-
sesses a good shot, is now in his
fourth season with the Redmen.
Shaw, now in his third year on
the squad, scored two goals and
assisted on a third in last sea-
The only serious loss for the
Redmen is that of their big 6'2"
goalie, Bob MacClellan. In the nets
for McGill tonight will be a new-
comer, Moe Jacques. Jacques is a
20-year old goal-tender who had a
very good record last year while
playing Intermediate hockey.
IN ADDITION to all this talent,
the McGill sextet has had a tune-
up game with Rensselaer Polytech
in which the Redmen bowed, 6-2.
However, McGill did not use its
full squad in that game due to a
heavy examination schedule.
The Wolverines, although facing
one of the toughest teams they will
Tickets for tonight's and to-
morrow's hockey games against
McGill University will go on
sale this morning at the Ath-
letic Administration Building.
The building will be open to-
day from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30
p.m. and tomorrow until noon.
Tickets go"on sale at the Coli-
seum beginning at 5 p.m.
. . . McGill forward
COn MSC Top
EAST LANSING - (A') - Ohio'
State, Purdue and Minnesota do-
minated the all-opponent team se-
lected today by the Michigan
State football players and coach-
The Michigan wrestling team
will make its first appearance of
the 1954 season when it faces In-
diana on Friday and Illinois on
Saturday after Christmas vaca-
Coach Cliff Keen's matmen cap-
tured their fifth Big Ten Cham-
pionship last year topping the co-
favorite Michigan State, by a 27-
22 score. In doing this the Wol-
verines- captured two champion-
ship crowns and placed several
more men in the scoring column.
KEEN has recently been select-
ed as a member of the Olympic
Games Committee . along with
twelve other wrestling coaches and
experts. This group will handle
all the business and selection of
United States wrestlers for the
next Olympics and selection of
wrestling candidates for the com-
ing Pan-American Games.
Bob Betzig, former Michigan
wrestler is Keen's assistant and
is now serving his fifth season
in this position. He is also a for-
mer captain of the team and aid-
ed Keen in the development of
a wrestling film now being used
throughout the country as a
Norvard "Snip" Nalan is cap-
tain of this year's team and it is
the second year in which this hon-
or has been bestowed upon him.
He wrestles in the 130-pound di-
vision holding the Conference
crown and the NCAA crown in this
Another Conference champion,
is Dick O'Shaughnessy who
dumped George Myers of Iowa
to take the 177-pound division
crown. O'Shaughnessy, who was
1953 football captain, will be
moving up to wrestle in the
heavyweight division this season.
Another returnee from last
year's squad is Andy Kaul' who
will be competing in the 137-pound
division. Kaul is a junior who was
undefeated in dual meet competi-
tion last year. He moved into the
Conference Championships win-
ning all his matches until he met
Illinois' Pete Compton.
KAUL had been the onley man
to defeat Compton in dual meet
competition but lost to him in the
final by an 8-3 score.
Joey Atkins is another Wol-
verine wrestling veteran and will
provide competition in the 123
pound division. In the 167-
pound division, Bronson Rumsey
will carry the Michigan hopes.
Rumsey competed in the Big
Ten meet last year and managed
to add some valuable points by
taking a fourth in his division.
Harold "Pepper" Holt, will go
the way in the 177-pound slot
which has been vacated by
O'Shaughnessy moving up. How-
ever this event will not be without
an O'Shaughnessy as Dick's
younger brother, Ray, will be
competing in this division.
-* * *
BOB WEBER, a junior, and
John McMahon, a sophomore will
wrestle in the 157-pound division
filling the vacancy made by the
graduation of Miles Lee who took
third place in the last year's Con-
Backing up Captain Nalan in
the 130-pound class will be sopho-
more Frank Hirt. Don Haney who
is also a sophomore will be wres-
tling in the 147-pound division.
mnen who know how!
2 71. Nit. Univesi
715 N. University
Returning on the forward lines see all season, are by no means just es.
for McGill is a host of players in- coming along for the ride. The three Big
cluding such key men as Whitey Tonight's encounter will mark ed two men each
Schutz, Pete McElheron, Herb Eng- the beginning of another hockey opponent eleven.
lish, Len Kent, Wally Enio, and season at Michigan, one which Michigan. vndi.
Gord Currie. finds the Maize and Blue puckmen Christian and X.
SCHUTZ IS one of the finest out to keep the nationalcrown one man each or
SCUZISoeoftefietwhich they won so handily last!.
players in collegiatie hockey and March at Colorado Springs. LEFT HALF
has been a leading scorer for the and fullback Bob]
Redmen for several years. McEl- the team from (
heron was one of the most improv- due entries were
ed players on McGill's squad last dd guard Tom B
year and should be even better a~I ~nnuadsom wE
now. McElheron is good, fast skat- Minnesota were
er with plenty of drive.T Alsoenamed tc
Emo is another man with tackle Andy Hou
plenty of experience. The big Morgan Williams
hard skating wing, who assisted tian, tackle Jim
on a couple of goals last season, gan, quarterbac
is now in his fourth campaign ski of Indiana an
for the Montreal school. Drzewiecki of M,
KEEP LOOKING TOWARD
T HE CLOUDS!
Boxed Ready for Christmas Presentation
if mm ff III