Otto Pommerening’s name first showed up on a Michigan Football Roster in 1926. He started one game for Fielding Yost in 1926. In hindsight, this was a mistake since those were the days where players only had three years of eligibility. However, no one was going to say “No” to Coach Yost so that’s how Otto “burned” his first year of eligibility at Michigan. The good news out of all of this was that Otto played on Coach Yost’s last team. The 1926 Michigan Wolverines sent Yost into retirement with an overall record of 7 wins and 1 loss and his final conference championship.
Maybe it’s a good thing that Otto played a little for Fielding Yost because the legendary coach retired at the end of the 1926 season. Yes, Tad Wieman was selected to fill the vary big shoes of the Michigan legend. Otto started six games at tackle and one game at guard in 1927. Year one of the Wieman Era was a success. Michigan finished the season with an overall record of 6 wins and 2 losses. Unfortunately, the Wolverines did not win a conference title in 1927. They finished in third place with a record of 3-2-0. Lot’s of work to be done in year two of the Wieman Era.
Otto Pommerening did everything he could to make 1928 a special football season. Although things worked out very well for Otto, the same could not be said for his team. Even worse, his coach Tad Wieman could not survive a season with only 3 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie. Wins were down in 1928, attendance was down in 1928 and WIeman was out after only two seasons.
The talented Pommerening was easily the best player on a team that struggled all year. Otto started all eight games (7 at left tackle and 1 at left end) in 1928. He starred on both sides of the ball and made a name for himself throughout the conference. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Otto was the first player in Michigan and Big Ten history to play every minute of every game in a college football season. Wow, Otto Pommerening truly defined what it meant to be an “Iron Man!” Otto’s stellar play earned him All-Conference and All-American honors in 1928. He also won the MVP award as well.
Bottom line, Otto Pommerening was an absolutely outstanding player at Michigan. He left Ann Arbor with two varsity letters, one conference championship and many other honors and accolades. Yes, today is a great day to remember this amazing “Michigan Man” and appreciate his contributions to Michigan football. May Otto Pommerening always rest in peace. Go Blue!
*Note – There are two different dates on the internet about the day that Otto Pommerening died. One is today (February 1, 1992) and the other is March 1, 1992. I went with today because it showed up more times on more different sites. If anyone can validate the March date, I will be happy to post the change!
Today has many things to celebrate. Hopefully, you will find something that appeals to you. Personally, I am going to do some reading on National Freedom Day. I will also wear my red Detroit Red Wings jersey to support my team tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Go Wings!
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