150 Years of Michigan Athletics

The 2015-16 academic year marked the 150th anniversary of Michigan Athletics. Thank you to the University of Michigan family for helping celebrate the passion that fuels us, rediscover the stories and traditions that unite us, and imagine what the future holds for us. We look forward to continuing to celebrate "This Michigan of Ours."

6/14/2016 - The 150 Years of Michigan Athletics celebration concludes with the story of William DeHart Hubbard, who won the gold medal in the long jump at the 1924 Olympics but had to wait for the world record he had been seeking.

William DeHart Hubbard photo
6/10/2016 - All-America pitcher Jordan Taylor discusses her post-Michigan playing career, differences between college and pros, and returning to Alumni Field with USSSA Pride teammates Lauren Sweet and Sierra Romero in late June.

Taylor photo
6/7/2016 - While Michigan men's basketball celebrated its 100th season in 2015-16, it is interesting to note that women may have been playing the game on campus before men.

1903 Women's Basketball photo
5/31/2016 - Among the 18 U-M athletes who entered the competition when Ferry Field hosted the 1924 Midwest Regional U.S. Olympic track and field tryouts was Victor Leschinsky, winner of the 200-meter dash.

Victor Leschinsky photo
5/27/2016 - Cyesha Goree recently completed her first season as a professional basketball player in Hungary and attended a WNBA preseason camp with the Indiana Fever.
5/24/2016 - Coach Red Berenson famously introduced the winged design on the ice hockey helmet on the eve of the 1989 CCHA playoffs. Like many great ideas, however, it wasn't completely original.

Ice Hockey Helmet photo
5/17/2016 - Long before Hill Auditorium hosted a signing day extravaganza, the venerable hall was regularly filled with U-M fans for away football games, following their team's fates on an elaborate "gridgraph."

Gridgraph photo
5/13/2016 - Alan Webb, who was the first American high schooler to run a sub-four mile indoors, talks about turning pro, breaking the American record in the mile, clocking 3:46.91 in Brasschaa, Belgium, and the success of the Michigan program.
5/10/2016 - Michigan's varsity rowing program celebrates its 20th season in 2015-16, but the long tradition of rowing at U-M dates back to the 1870s when a Student Boating Association was organized.

Coed Crew on the Huron
5/6/2016 - A two-time All-American and five-year member of the U-M women's gymnastics team, Lindsey (Bruck) Ayotte is now performing around North America and Europe with Cirque du Soleil.
5/3/2016 - John Lenfesty, captain Joseph Royston and John Howard were the top players on coach Tom Trueblood's 1931 team that was the first to play on Michigan's new course and kicked off the greatest run in U-M golf history.

1931 Men's Golf Team
4/29/2016 - At a time when trampoline was a separate NCAA sport, the 1968 Michigan men's gymnastics team featured three NCAA trampoline champions in George Huntzicker, Wayne Miller and Dave Jacobs.

Trampoline Champions
4/15/2016 - Multi-sport athletes are less common today, but Pete Elliott, Carol Holly and Elroy Hirsch set the U-M standard while competing for the Wolverines in the 1940s.

All-Time Letterwinners
4/15/2016 - Natasha Moodie was a four-year letterwinner for the Wolverines (2008-11), and now teaches high school science in Palmview, Texas, miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
4/12/2016 - He was not a large man by today's shot put standards, but superb technique and speed across the circle propelled Charles Fonville to the top of the track and field world.

Charles Fonville
4/8/2016 - A two-sport athlete at Michigan, Robbie Reid (1997-99) went from playing hoops professionally in Europe to becoming a financial analyst on Wall Street and now a business owner.
4/5/2016 - As the 2015 Michigan softball team prepared for the NCAA Women's College World Series last May, members of U-M's 2005 national champion team offered some personal advice and encouragement to Team 38.

2005 Softball Team
3/29/2016 - Ferry Field, May 25, 1935, is remembered for what many consider the greatest individual performance in track and field history. However, it was also the site of a dramatic conference championship for Michigan.

Fred Birleson photo
3/25/2016 - A two-time all-conference honoree, Jamar Adams is now in the real estate development business in NYC following a three-year NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles.
3/22/2016 - Baseball scorebooks from Ray Fisher's coaching career (1921-58) and after tell the stories of some of the school's great teams and players, including the 1928 Big Ten and 1962 NCAA champions.

1928 Scorebook
3/15/2016 - With roses from her Wolverines, Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins celebrated her 500th win -- an 8-0, five-inning decision against Wright State on March 23, 1997, in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Hutch's 500th Win
3/11/2016 - Former Wolverine standout Peri Marosevic, who was added to the staff as an undergraduate assistant coach for the 2015 season, talks about his professional career, returning to earn a U-M degree and the future of the program.
3/8/2016 - When Lorenzo "Tommy" Thomas began working as the athletics groundskeeper in 1899, his main tools were a horse and wagon and shovels and rakes.

Lorenzo Thomas photo
3/4/2016 - Men's Track and Field Hall of Fame inductee Nick Willis (2003-05) catches up with MGoBlue.com in this week's Future Friday Q&A.
3/1/2016 - Bentley Historical Library archivist Greg Kinney takes a look at the 1886 Michigan baseball team photo and explains the measures Dianna Samuelson and the conservation lab take to preserve such pieces of history.

2/26/2016 - A member of U-M's back-to-back Big Ten championship teams in 2003-04, Sarah Trowbridge capped a successful international career with a 2012 Olympics berth before getting into coaching.
2/25/2016 - The second part of "Rickey of Michigan" details Branch Rickey's years in Ann Arbor as a student and coach, including the insights of New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, a Michigan graduate and benefactor who knew both Rickey and Jackie Robinson.

Rickey photo
2/24/2016 - Innovator Branch Rickey, who coached the Wolverines from 1910-1913 while attending the Michigan Law School, transformed baseball through his signing of Jackie Robinson and his commitment to the civil rights movement.

Rickey photo
2/23/2016 - Barry MacKay became Michigan's first NCAA men's tennis singles champion in 1957 while guiding the Wolverines to their only national championship in program history that same year.
2/19/2016 - A two-time honorable mention All-American at Michigan, Michael Harris embarked on a professional career highlighted by a pair of U.S. Open appearances before transitioning to a finance career.
2/16/2016 - With 20 Big Ten championships in the last 24 years, the Michigan women's gymnastics program is one of the most successful in the history of the league. The 1992 team started that stretch of dominance.
2/12/2016 - Michigan field hockey's first Academic All-American, Eileen Brandes (2008-11), who is now in her second year at Harvard Medical School, contributed to a pair of Big Ten titles and three NCAA Tournament berths at U-M.
2/10/2016 - With baseball and softball right around the corner, the fourth part of our facilities series focuses on the Wilpon Complex, home to Ray Fisher Stadium (baseball) and Alumni Field (softball).
2/9/2016 - While in medical school at U-M, Fred Bonine dominated the campus Field Day track events in the mid-1880s and prevailed in a national competition that gave him claim to being U-M's first national champion.
2/5/2016 - Fifth-generation Wolverine Lexi Dannemiller, who recently wrapped up a historic career in 2014, plans to hit the courts professionally following a brief stint as the head coach of a club team.
2/2/2016 - After missing out on qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team, Michigan wrestlers Al Watson and Russ Sauer figured out a way to make the trip to the 1928 Summer Games in Amsterdam anyway.
1/29/2016 - Jason Jung (2008-11) talks about his professional tennis career, his blog and how Michigan prepared him for life after graduation.
1/26/2016 - At the 2004 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Long Island, N.Y., Michigan's 800-meter relay team of four future Olympians made history, setting NCAA, U.S. Open and NCAA Championships records.

Swimming Relay Team
1/22/2016 - A three-time College Gymnastics Association Academic All-American, Scott Bregman went from competing to covering the sport he loves before landing in his current role as director of content and communications for USA Gymnastics.
1/19/2016 - Balance beam specialist Linda Watson was among the first recruits for coach Ann Cornell, who took over the program in 1976-77, the season after women's gymnastics was made a varsity sport.

Linda Watson
1/15/2016 - Debbie (Flaherty) Cox, who was a member of Michigan's inaugural women's soccer team, set numerous program firsts before transitioning to the coaching ranks.
1/5/2016 - After helping make Michigan basketball the hottest ticket in town during his three seasons (1964-66), Cazzie Russell took one last walk through a vacant Yost Field House.

Cazzie Russell
1/5/2016 - Hall of Fame coach Cliff Keen headed the Michigan wrestling program for 45 years, coaching 11 NCAA individual winners, 68 All-Americans and 81 Big Ten Conference champions.

Cliff Keen
12/26/2015 - Michigan Athletics launched its 150th anniversary celebration Aug. 5 with a story on the historic Ferry Field gate and its architect, Albert Kahn. It's at No. 6 on the Best of Kornacki countdown.
12/22/2015 - The photo of international movie star Marlene Dietrich with Bump Elliott, Bob Chappuis and Bruce Hilkene is well known to fans of U-M's 1947 national champion football team. Not so well known is the story behind the photo.

Marlene Dietrich
12/15/2015 - A student scrapbook assembled by football and track competitor Milo White (1898-1902) includes one of three known 1901 Football Banquet Programs complete with autographs from the legendary team.


12/8/2015 - Without an assist from wrestling coach Cliff Keen, the Wistert brothers -- Francis, Albert and Alvin -- may never have become some of Michigan football's legendary figures.

Albert Wistert
12/1/2015 - Cross country's roots at Michigan date back to the 1880s and the "Hares and Hounds" club, which led to the forming of a Cross Country Club in 1901. Cross country became a varsity sport in 1919.

1908 Men's Cross Country Race
11/24/2015 - Michigan played its first varsity season of women's soccer in 1994, fielding a 24-person squad that included 10 freshmen and nine sophomores under coach Debbie Belkin.
11/20/2015 - Michigan water polo's all-time leading scorer, Shana Welch transitioned from college to a professional playing career and then into coaching before her current career as a firefighter/EMT in California.
11/17/2015 - Considered the greatest Michigan quarterback of the 19th century, James Baird supervised the building of iconic structures in New York City and Washington, D.C., before returning to Ann Arbor to do the same.
11/10/2015 - In 1942, in an effort to reform "athletic lounge lizards" and aid the military's preliminary training, director of athletics Fritz Crisler devised a comprehensive body-hardening course, "Physical Education for Men."

WWII Physical Training
11/6/2015 - A four-year member of the U-M women's golf team, Bess (Bowers) Barnes is now Vice President of College Sports Programming for CBS Corporation and as grateful to be a Michigan Wolverine as ever.
10/30/2015 - The captain of the Wolverines' 1953 national championship team, Bill Mogk has served the University of Michigan since he first stepped foot on campus 65 years ago.
10/28/2015 - The third part in our series spotlights two of the most influential men in Michigan Athletics history -- Fritz Crisler and Fielding Yost.
10/27/2015 - Fielding Yost's first contract called for U-M to pay him a $2,300 salary and required him to coach the team "to the best of his knowledge and ability" beginning in September 1901 "and continuing until the last game is played."

1901 Michigan Football Team
10/23/2015 - Student-athlete alumni Charles Adams (men's basketball), Rich Dopp (men's gymnastics), Becky Marx Keough (softball) and Andy Matthews (men's golf) discuss the future of Michigan Athletics.


10/20/2015 - In the summer of 1973, U-M began a renovation project to convert Yost Field House into Yost Ice Arena, and the ice hockey team played its first home game at Yost on Nov. 2, 1973, defeating Waterloo Lutheran, 6-2.

Yost Ice Arena in 1973
10/16/2015 - A 174-pound national champion, Steve Luke (2006-09) transitioned from wrestling mat to pharmacy school at Ohio State to full-time at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, without missing a beat.
10/14/2015 - As part of Michigan Athletics' 150th anniversary, fans have the opportunity to write in with their own stories or unique memories. Here are some of the best responses so far.
10/8/2015 - The Players' Tribune will journey through Michigan's historic 150th season of varsity athletics to offer an exclusive inside look at three storied U-M teams -- football, softball and men's basketball.
10/6/2015 - Student scrapbooks from the late 1800s and early 1900s, such as one at the Bentley Historical Library compiled by football and track competitor Milo White (1898-1902), help reveal what student life was like during the time period.


10/1/2015 - The U-M Athletic Department and the School of Music, Theatre & Dance collaborated to create a video commemorating the school's 150th anniversary of athletics.
9/30/2015 - Learn about the men and women who helped shape the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus, with part two of the series focusing on Cliff Keen and Don Canham.
9/29/2015 - Tom Harmon left no doubt about his commitment to the Michigan football team when he answered coach Fritz Crisler's questionnaire to prospective players in the summer of 1939, prior to Harmon's junior year.
9/25/2015 - One the program's most prominent alums, Francie Kraker Goodridge (athlete: 1966-68 club sport; coach: 1982-84) accomplished a lot of "firsts" throughout her storied career.
9/22/2015 - Chronicled by BYU historian Margaret Young, African-American Abner Howell's journey took him from Utah to Michigan's football teams of coach Fielding Yost, then back to Utah and the Mormon Church.
9/18/2015 - A member of two national championship teams at Michigan, Sean Ritchlin (right) has become a leader in the financial world in addition to working as a color analyst on ESPN's college hockey broadcasts.
9/16/2015 - In honor of the men's and women's soccer 150th Anniversary Celebration taking place this Sunday (Sept. 20), MGoBlue.com interviewed alumni of both programs to talk about the effect soccer has had on their lives.
9/15/2015 - Field hockey, one of the "original six" varsity sports for women established for the 1973-74 academic year, was among the university's early physical education offerings, as depicted in this 1905 photograph.

Field Hockey in 1905

From the Archives: First Known Michigan Football Photos


9/4/2015 - Former Wolverine Rika Tatsuno (2008-11) is featured in this week's Future Friday as she discusses her time in Japan as a model, the next steps in her career and how Michigan prepared her for life.
9/1/2015 - Barbour Gymnasium was a key facility for women on campus at the turn of the 20th century, serving as both a social event center and a place to exercise.
8/28/2015 - To help launch the department's 150th anniversary celebration, MGoBlue.com recently sat down with interim director of athletics Jim Hackett to discuss the past, present and future of Michigan Athletics.
8/27/2015 - Designed by legendary golf course architects Pete and Alice Dye, U-M's Radrick Farms Golf Course is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
8/26/2015 - Learn about the men and women who helped shape the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus, with part one of the series focusing on Bennie Oosterbaan and Phyllis Ocker.
8/21/2015 - Arno Lascari was the 1963 NCAA champion on parallel bars, and he also holds another distinction that no Wolverine in the 50-plus years since has been able to match.
8/21/2015 - For a three-year stretch, Frank Legacki (1959-61) was one of the best and most versatile swimmers in the country. He twice set the American record in the 100-yard butterfly, and was a three-time NCAA champion, winning the 100-yard freestyle in 1959 and the 50-yard freestyle in 1961.
8/19/2015 - Though not a student-athlete or coach, Barb Rotvig made an everlasting impact on the game of golf for women, and she did it at the University of Michigan Golf Course.
8/18/2015 - In a letter from 1939, George DeHaven recalls how the 1887 Michigan football team helped teach Notre Dame the game while on its way to Chicago for a Thanksgiving game.
8/14/2015 - Throughout the year we will be dedicating Fridays to exploring our future, starting with some potential student-athletes of the future who attended football Youth Day on Thursday, Aug. 6!
8/13/2015 - The very first varsity team at the University of Michigan was baseball, officially formed in the 1865-66 season. The 150 Years project takes a look at those pioneers.
8/11/2015 - Michigan Athletics and the Bentley Historical Library have had a great partnership for years. As we celebrate the 150th year of Michigan Athletics we will be highlighting this partnership and bringing to life some of the athletics memorabilia that lives in the walls of the Bentley. Throughout the coming months we will be showcasing photos and videos under the heading "From the Archives" as we focus on some great untold stories.


To see more from the U-M Bentley Historical Library, visit bentley.umich.edu or visit the library on North Campus at 1150 Beal Avenue, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For appointments, please call (734) 764-3482.
8/5/2015 - Kicking off the celebration of the 150th season in Michigan Athletics is a look at impact the Kahn family has had on the university, from the design of buildings on campus to service in the medical field and the sculpting of the Ferry Field gate.
8/3/2015 - In honor of the 150th anniversary of Michigan Athletics, the U-M athletic department announced it will hold a year-long celebration to recognize the historic milestone.

Ferry Field Tiffany Ofili The Victors Graduation Cazzie Russell Michigan Stadium Ferry Field

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150th Special Events

Certain home events throughout the 2015-16 school year will be designated 150th anniversary events and feature special 150th giveaways and promotions.

• Sept. 12 -- Football vs. Oregon State
• Sept. 13 -- Field Hockey vs. Davidson
• Sept. 20 -- Women's Soccer vs. Iowa
• Sept. 20 -- Men's Soccer vs. Northwestern
• Nov. 21 -- Volleyball vs. Nebraska
• Dec. 11 -- Ice Hockey vs. Minnesota
• Jan. 9 -- Women's Gymnastics vs. Georgia
• Jan. 15 -- Wrestling vs. Illinois
• Jan. 30 -- Men's Gymnastics vs. Ohio State
• Feb. 7 -- Women's Basketball vs. Illinois
• Feb. 13 -- Men's Basketball vs. Purdue
• April 2 -- Men's Lacrosse vs. Maryland
• April 2 -- Women's Lacrosse vs. Ohio State
• April 23 -- Softball vs. Maryland
• May 7 -- Baseball vs. Rutgers

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