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August 18, 1946 - Image 15

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1946-08-18

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light Coaching Staff Compiles Outstanding Athletic Man


A glance at the record will reveal
that Michigan's athletic teams have,
on the whole', piled up long strings of
victories as against relatively few de-
These continuous successes of
Maize and Blue sportsmen can be at-
tributed to the fact tnat the Wol-
verines have.had tine good fortune
to be blessed with coaches who are
experts in their respective fields-
men who know their business.
Everyone at Michigan knows the
name of Herbert Orin (Fritz) Cris-
ler, nationally famous Wolverine
football mentor, but the men who
direct Maize and Blue crews in other
sports are seldom heard of outside
of Ann Arbor, or the confines of var-
ious Michigan Alumni clubs.
Fisher's 26 Years
Nevertheless, the performances of
the teams these men have tutored are
ample testimony to their unpubli-
cized coaching ability. A look at some
of the "greats" on the Wolverine

athletic staff proves this point.
First, Ray L. Fisher, dean of West-
ern Conference baseball mentors, is
outstanding. In his 26 years with
Michigan, his teams have chalked up
439 victories, as against 188 defeats

and, in addition, Fisher-coached
squads have brought home 10 Big
Ten championship crowns.
Develops Major Leaguers
An outstanding teacher and devel-
oper of individual stars, more than
two dozen of his boys have been of
sufficient calibre to play Major Lea-
gue ball. Dick Wakefield, Detroit
Tiger ace, is the most famous, while
teams have walked away with 15 Big
the latest addition to the Big League
ranks are Elmer Swanson and Bruce
Blanchard, who signed with the De-
troit Tigers last Spring.
Fisher has served a long appren-
ticeship in both college and profes-
sional athletics. He gained fame in
his youth pitching for the Middle-
bury College nine, as well as handling
the fullback assignment on that
school's grid squad.
Vermont School Teacher'
While still in school, he pitched
for Hartford in the Connecticut
League and, upon graduation, was
signed by the New York Highlanders,
forerunners of today's Yankees. Fish-
er kept in touch with the educational

field during this time, teaching at
Springfield Academy and Newton
Military Academy, which caused him
to be dubbed the "Vermont school
He served with the Army Air Corps
in 1918 and joined the Cincinnati
Reds in 1919. remaining with them
for two years. In 1921, Fisher came
to Michigan, where for two and a
half decades he has coached base-
ball teams, only three of which have
finished under the .500 mark.
- Turning to the cinder path, Coach
J. Kenneth Doherty is the man re-
sponsible for recent Wclverine suc-
cesses in that department. In his
seventh year as Michigan's head
track coach, his teams have won
seven out of a possible 14 Western
Conference indoor and outdoor cham-
La;;t season, the Maize and Blue
trackmen under Doherty's direction
were nosed out by a powerful Illinois
squad by 2/3 of a point in a photo-
finish fight for the Big Ten indoor
Doherty first gained fame at the

College of the City of Detroit, now
Wayne University, where he compet-
ed in the shotput, javelin, high jump,
broad jump, hurdles, and pole vault.
In 1928, he won the National Olym-
pic Decathlon tryouts, and went on
to capture third place at the Amster-
dam Olympics, with a point total of
7,600-nine points short of the then
world's record. In 1929, he set a
new National AAU record in the Dec-
athlon, chalking up 7,784 points.
That same year, he joined the Prince-
ton University coaching staff as track
assistant, and came to Michigan the
following season.
Under the expert tutelage of coach
Matt Mann, Michigan swimming
teams have walked away with 15 Big
Ten championships in the past 22
years. Mann, who is recognized as
cne of the best swimming men in the
country, has developed Maize and
Blue tank squads which have amass-
ed a total of 158 victories in dual
meets, while dropping only 18 of
these clashes.
Born in Leeds, England, the ami-

able gent distinguished himself by
pionship for boys at the age of 16.
winning the English freestyle cham-

FISHER.... 26 Years.

MANN ... 22 Years.

Hoyt, Builder'
Of Cindermen,
Ends Career
The news that Charlie Hoyt, who
coached Wolverine thinclads from
1931 to 1940, had resigned his posi-
tion at Yale, and now appears to be
going into 'permanent retirement,
brought many a memory to the
minds of Michigan men, both in and
out of the sports world.
'Golden Era' Begins
It was with Charlie Hoyt's arrival
at Michigan that the so-called "gold-
en era" of Wolverine track began.
During his nine-year stint as head
coach, he compiled the unusual rec-
ord of capturing 13 Big Ten cham-
pionships out of a possible 18. Up
to that time Conference crowns had
been rather scarce for Michigan
He led the Wolverines to the crown
in his very first championship meet
as head coach, the indoor conference
of 1931, and went on to take twelve
more firsts. At no time during the.
nine years did a Michigan squad
place lower than third; they finished
in the show spot only two times,
grabbing second place the remaining
Develops Individual Stars
The individual track stars develop-
ed by Coach Hoyt form a roll-call
of some of Michigan's greatest all-
time athletes. Ed Russell started the
list with a brilliant career as a
quarter-miler. In 1931 he blazed
through a 440 in 47.6 which stood
until Warren Breidenbach snapped
Ned Turner was another stand-out
of the early Thirties molded by Hoyt.
He climaxed his career by taking a
fifth for the United States in the
1932 Olympics in Los Angeles.
In the middle Thirties Hoyt devel-
oped a trio of the best track-men
ever seen in the Middle West. Sprint-
er Sam Stoller engaged in a series
of duels with the famed Jesse Owens
in 1935-36, and then in 1937 cap-
tured the National Collegiate 100-
yard championship.
In 1937 Bab Osgood came along to
flash through a set of 120-yard high
hurdles in .14 seconds fiat to set a
Big Ten mark which has not .yet been
The immortal Bill Watson com-
pleted the triumvirate of stars. He
heaved the shot put 54 ft 61/2 in. to
chalk up a Conference record that
still stands in the books.
Coach Hoyt's last gift to the Mich-
igan track scene was Ralph Schwarz-



End Star Oosterbaan Shone
As Part-Time Backfield Ace
Appointment of Bennie Oosterbaan as Michigan's backfield coach, on
the surface seems something like naming Ty Cobb to teach defensive infield
play, but many an old grad remembers when "Big Ben," one of football's
greatest ends, dropped into a Michigan backfield.
It was in 1927 that All-American Bennie, generally regarded as one
of the greatest pass-receiving ends in football history, teamed up with
halfbaclLou Gilbert to form a reversable passing combination that sparked
a mediocre Wolverine elevent to a successful season.
Oosterbaan's outstanding performance as a part time half-back came
as a part of the dedication ceremonies of the University of Michigan Stad-
ium, when an underdog Wolverine squad trounced Ohio State, 21-0, with
Bennie throwing two forwards and one lateral pass to Gilbert to account
for all the scoring.
Later that same season, Oosterbaan added punting to his already
replete repertoire of football accomplishments. Despite Conference set-
backs by Illinois and Minnesota, Oosterbaan was selected to the mythi-
cal All-American team for the third successive season.
The 1927 loss to Minnesota wrote finis to Oosterbaan's brilliant col-
lege careen. A powerful Gohper squad, featuring line smashing Herb Joesting
and a sophomore tackle named "Bronco" Nagurski, came to Ann Arbor and
eked out a 13-7 win.
Oosterbaan turned in one of the standout defensive performances of
his career and was a large factor in keeping the game close. He also scored
Michigan's lone touchdown, taking a forward pass for the score.
In his sophomore and junior seasons, Oosterbaan played out in
front of Benny Friedman and together they made up what is generally
considered one of the greatest passing combinations football has ever
He joined lrhe Wolverine coaching staff in 1928 as freshman football
coach. He was later named varsity end coach. This new move into the back-
field for Oostebaan differs from the periodic switches in 1927 in that it is
now a full time job.


Valpey Runs Athletic Gamut-;
Player, Grid Scout, End Coach
Art Valpey, recently appointed end coach, is the possessor of a highly-
colorful athletic career, including honors as a prep star, three-letter man
at Michigan, and four years in the high school coaching field before joining
the Wolverine staff in 1942.
It was an auspicious start for the new Michigan scout, when the Wol-
verines dumped Notre Dame 32-20, as Valpey's reports of the Irish eleven
had obviously paid dividends. He also scouted the South Bend crew in 1943
when the National champions downed the Maize and Blue, 35-12.
Other teams scouted by Art have included Illinois, Northwestern, Pur-
due, Minnesota, and Army. Incidentally, the West Point aggregation will
be closely watched by Valpey in three games this fall prior to the Cadets'
invasion of Ann Arbor. Valpey said that Army "had at least six scouts at
each Michigan game last year."
The appointment of Valpey to end coach will not break up the Michigan
scouting team, however, as the Ernie McCoy, Bill Barclay, and Valpey coma
bination will remain intact.
Although he attended twenty-one schools in seventeen states before
reaching high school age, Valpey settled in Dayton, Ohio for his prep days.
As a member of Steele High's sensational football squad which lost but two
tilts in three years, Valpey climaxed a brilliant high school career by being
selected on the All-State eleven as a half-back in 1934. His athletic prowess
was not confinedto the giridiron, however, as he also starred on the track
and' basketball teams.
In recognition of his outstanding athletic and scholastic achievements,
Valpey was awarded the Dayton Alumni Memorial Scholarship and con-
tinued his education here at the University. The highly-touted prep star
was switched to end and earned three letters as a member of the Wol-
verine elevens of 1935-36-37.
Following graduation froma the University, Valpey launched a success-
ful four-year high school coaching career in Ida, Manchester, and Midland
before being recalled to his .alma-mater in 1942 as a scout and assistant
football coach.

Mann came to America in 1906 a
took his first coaching job at Sy
cuse, where he served until 1910.
After coaching at Harvard,
New York Athletic Club, and Y
he came west and served with
Duluth Boat Club and the Det:
Athletic Club.
Still Going Strong
Mann's debut at Michigan dur
the 1924-25 season was highligh
by a dual meet record of five w
and no losses, and a third place
the Conference championship cc
petition. In 1927, his third y
here, his boys registered a perf
record of five dual meet victories
against no defeats, and copped b
the Big Ten and NCAA crowns.
In his 22 years at Michigan,
60-year old youngster has develo
such stars as Waldemar Tomski
Charlie Barker, Conference 50-y
freestyle record holders; Jack E
ley, Conference breaststroke rec
setter, and Gus Sharemet, holder
the Big Ten 100-yard freestyle ma
A more recent protege is V
Church, captain of 1944's crew, v
was named the Most Valuable C
lege Swimmer" by the College Sw
ming Coaches Association at
1945 NCAA meet.
Heyliger's Hockey
Michigan's ice hockey squads
being whipped into shape by
Heyliger, former Wolverine star pu
ster. Heyliger returned to his a
mater last season, for the first t
since his gradation in 1937.
After leaving 'Michigan, he joie
the Chicago Blackhawks play
center for them, and, two years la
became a member of the athl
staff -of the University of Illinois.
1940, the Illini hockey team, ur
his direction, captured the Big
and Mid-West unofficial titles
went on to become national chat
--establishing Heyliger as one of
top ice mentors in the country.
Former Michigan Star
Heyliger first played for Michi
in 1934 under coach Eddie Low
whom he later succeeded. In 1
captaining the Wolverine sextet,
distinguished himself at the cei
position by establishing a three y
intercollegiate scoring record of
goals and being named All NJ
Western center.
Boss of Golfers
Bill Barclay, who is present cc
of the golf team, is another fors
Michigan star, grabbing eight
ters from 1935 to '38. His honors
cluded two letters in basketball,
guard; three in football, as a h
back and quarterback, and three
golf. He won the Michigan s
amateur golf championship in 1
and, after coaching highdsex
teams at Davidson, Mich., and Ca
lac, Mich., joined his alma mater
assistant basketball and foot
coach in 1942.



Handyman Roberts
Treats Athletes' Ills
Ray Roberts is the little-known
man with the big job on the Michi-
gan grid squad, or, in other words,
the hard-working trainer of the team.
Roberts first came to Michigan in
1930, and has been here ever since.
His career as trainer had its earliest
beginnings when he entered the Ar-
my during the last war. He was as-
signed to the medical corps, and
upon completion of the war, because
of his Army experience, he was given
the job as trainer of the Army's West
Point team. He remained at West
Point for the next 10 years, until
he became trainer for the Wolverine
In his 26 years as an athletic train.
er, Roberts has come to the conclu-
sion that "there is no such thing as
a natural athlete." By this he means
that no matter how natural an ath-
lete appears on the surface, his abil-
ity is, in reality, the result of mental
and physical conditioning


t , ' !}

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