Today is a good day to celebrate a Happy Birthday Anniversary for a Wolverine named Paul Woodworth. When you talk about Michigan’s Football “pioneers” you have to mention Mr. Woodworth. He was born on this date in 1869 and came to Ann Arbor from Pigeon, Michigan.
Note – Paul Woodworth is shown above with the 1892 Michigan Football team. He is standing in the back row – first man on the left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)
Paul Woodworth played “end” at Michigan in 1891 and 1892. According to the 1892 team roster, he weighed a whopping 165 pounds!
Woodworth’s first team (1891) was also the first Michigan team to be led by a full-time coach – Frank Crawford. Mike Murphy, who was primarily a trainer, is also given credit by some experts as being a “co-coach” with Crawford. Regardless of who was in charge, the team ended the season with a losing record of 4 wins and 5 losses. Frank Crawford and Mike Murphy did not return for the 1892 season.
Woodworth’s second team (1892) fared better under new coach Frank Barbour who led the team to a record of 7 wins and 5 losses.
Although he only played for two years, Paul Woodworth is connected to a number of important Michigan Football “firsts” from 1891 to 1892. Here is a summary of the best ones I could find:
So, Paul Woodworth was part of the very early Michigan football tradition. After graduation from Michigan’s Law School he became a successful attorney in Michigan’s “thumb” region. I do not know the exact date of his death.
Paul Woodworth helped Michigan win 11 games in two years. Thanks to men like Mr. Woodworth, Michigan’s Football tradition is second to none! Let’s celebrate the memory of Paul Woodworth and his fellow Michigan football “Pigskin Pioneers. May Paul Woodworth continue to Rest in Peace! Go Blue!
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