Today is a great day to remember the birthday of a Michigan Man named Terry Barr. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Terry Albert Barr was born on this day in 1935 at Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was one of eight children. Terry attended Central High School in Grand Rapids. He played football, basketball and ran track. Actually, Barr ran track very well since he was the State of Michigan state champion in the 440-yard dash in 1952 and 1953. A very impressive accomplishment!
(Note – Terry Barr (#41) looks to gain BIG yards for the Wolverines in 1956. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)
Terry Barr enrolled at Michigan in 1953 and played halfback on the freshman team. His job was to get his academic career off to a good start at Michigan and learn the way that Bennie Ooosterbaan wanted his Wolverines to play football. Barr played on Bennie Oosterbaan’s varsity football team in 1954, but he didn’t make any starts. However, Terry impressed Coach Oosterbaan with his speed and versatility.
Barr saw action as a running back, a receiver and punt returner in five games in 1954. He didn’t burn up the record books, but he was solid. Michigan finished with an overall record of 6 wins and 3 losses that year and posted a record of 5-2-0 in the Big Ten. Barr’s Michigan football career was off to a good start!
Terry Barr was back for more football in 1955. He proved himself to be an excellent team player and did whatever Coach Oosterbaan needed him to do. What Coach “O” needed was someone who could pass, run, catch, return kickoffs and haul back punts. Terry Barr started nine games at left halfback and excelled on special teams. Yes, he had a BIG year for the Wolverines. Barr’s year was so big that he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1955 Michigan Football team.
The Wolverines had another winning season in 1955. Once again, Bennie Oosterbaan’s footballers won 7 games and lost 2. Michigan finished in third place in the Big Ten Conference with a record of 5-2-0.
Hard-working Terry Barr returned for his senior season in 1956. He started seven games at right halfback for Michigan that season. Terry’s excellent play helped Michigan post another winning season. For the second straight season, the Wolverines posted a final record of 7 wins and 2 losses. They posted another record of 5-2-0 in the Big Ten which was only good enough for second place.
Terry Barr had an impressive career at Michigan. He did everything that Coach Oosterbaan asked him to do. His 82-yard punt return against Army in 1955 was the best in Michigan Football History until it was broken in 1959. Barr is also one of the few men in Wolverine history to throw a touchdown pass and score at least one touchdown as a runner, receiver and punt returner. He was a very big part of the Michigan offense in 1955 and 1956. Barr played on three winning teams and left the program with three varsity letters.
Bottom line, today is a great day to remember Terry Barr on the 84th anniversary of his birth. Please take a moment to appreciate his contributions to the great history of Michigan Football. Go Blue!
Terry Barr went on to enjoy a successful career in the National Football League with the Detroit Lions. Sadly, Terry Barr passed away on May 28, 2009 at the age of seventy-three. To read more about the life of Terry Barr and the 1955 Michigan Football team please check out the links below:
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