Today’s post honors the memory of a Wolverine named Henry J. Killilea who went to rest in peace on this day in 1929 at the age of sixty-five. Before we look at Mr. Killilea’s Michigan career, it’s time to talk about some Michigan Football trivia!
In what year did Michigan begin playing games in the Western Conference?
First year coach William Ward, led the 1896 Michigan Football team to an excellent record of 9 wins and 1 loss. This ten-game schedule also included three Western Conference Games against Purdue, Minnesota, and Chicago.
Michigan defeated Purdue and Minnesota, but lost the season finale in Chicago (6-7). The Wolverines finished in a tie for second place in their inaugural season in the Western Conference. The Wisconsin Badgers won the first league championship with a record of 2 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie.
Who is the only former Michigan player with more college football coaching wins than his former coach, Fielding H. Yost?
Today is a good day to remember another impressive Michigan Wolverine named Henry J. Killilea. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Henry James Killilea was born on this day in Poygan, Wisconsin in 1863. He came to Ann Arbor to advance his education and earn a law degree from The University of Michigan.
Henry J. Killilea’s name first showed up on a Michigan Football Roster in 1883. The Bentley Historical Library lists him as a “Forward” on the 1883 team that finished with a final record of 2 wins and 3 losses. He is pictured with the letter winners of that season, but he is not credited with one in the Michigan Athletic Department records.
Killilea came back in 1884 and played center in his second season. Michigan, under first year captain, Horace Prettyman, finished the season with a perfect record of 2-0-0. Killilea is listed as a letter winner on the 1884 team.
Today is a good day to remember a true Wolverine Pigskin Pioneer. Henry J. Killilea went on to graduate from Michigan’s Law School in 1885. He returned to Wisconsin to establish a successful law practice. Killilea went on to become a pioneer in the game of baseball and is credited by some to be the “Father of the American League.” So, the one hundred and forty-fifth anniversary of his birth is a great day to celebrate Henry James Killilea and appreciate his pioneering contributions to Michigan Football. May Henry J. Killilea always rest in peace. Go Blue!