ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan Department of Athletics officially recognized Bennie Oosterbaan as a Michigan Football Legend today (Saturday, Sept. 8) during a pregame ceremony of the Michigan-Air Force football game.
Junior/sophomore linebacker Jake Ryan (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius) will change from No. 90 to No. 47 for the remainder of his career in honor of Oosterbaan. A patch over the left upper chest will be affixed to the No. 47 jersey worn by Ryan and all other future players donning Oosterbaan's jersey number.
In addition to the permanent patch, Oosterbaan will be featured in a special area to be designed and constructed in the soon-to-be renovated Schembechler Hall. Also, the lockers to be used by No. 47 in both the Schembechler Hall and Michigan Stadium locker rooms will be customized to reflect the fact that Oosterbaan will forever be a Michigan Football Legend.
Oosterbaan was a three-time All-American (1925, '26, '27) at end for Michigan, becoming the first of only two three-time All-Americans in Wolverines football history; Anthony Carter is the other player to accomplish the feat. Oosterbaan was a nine-time letterman at Michigan, earning three letters in football, basketball and baseball. He was the Big Ten touchdown champion in football, the Big Ten batting champion in baseball and the Big Ten scoring champion and the first Michigan student-athlete to be named a first-team All-American in basketball.
Following graduation in 1928, he turned down contracts from professional baseball and football organizations in order to join the Michigan coaching staff. He served as an assistant under Fritz Crisler for 20 seasons and was U-M's head coach from 1948 to 1958, compiling a 63-33-4 record. During his tenure, the Wolverines won or shared Big Ten titles three times, won the 1951 Rose Bowl and captured the national championship in 1948.
Former players Ron Kramer, Gerald Ford and Francis, Albert and Alvin Wistert also will be honored as "Michigan Football Legends" during the 2012 season. Following are the dates for recognizing legend status for those former players:
Ron Kramer (No. 87) -- Massachusetts (Sept. 15)
Gerald Ford (No. 48) -- Illinois (Oct. 13)
Francis, Albert and Alvin Wistert (No. 11) -- Northwestern (Nov. 10)
Desmond Howard was the inaugural Michigan Football Legend, honored in 2011 during the first night game in Michigan Stadium history. Howard's No. 21 jersey is worn by senior wide receiver Roy Roundtree (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) in 2012.
Media Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423