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January 14, 2018 Rest in Peace Bill Hewitt

Posted on January 14, 2018 by Barry Gallagher

The main purpose of today’s post is to honor the memory of a Wolverine named Bill Hewitt who went to rest in peace on this day in 1942. Before we look at Mr. Hewitt’s Michigan career, let’s talk about today’s trivia.

Part I. Trivia Question of the Day – January 13, 2018:

Who was Michigan’s first All-American running back?

Part I. Trivia Question Answer for January 13, 2018:  Willie Heston

William Martin “Willie” Heston was definitely the greatest back in the early years of Michigan Football. He was also one of the best ever in the history of college football.

Heston starred at Michigan from 1901 to 1904. Of course, he was on the first four teams that Fielding Yost coaches at Michigan. This means that Willie Heston played on four Michigan teams that produced an amazing record of 43 wins 0 losses and 1 tie. The Wolverines also won four Western Conference titles in this span to go along with four National Championships. Yes, Michigan was very, very good in the “Heston Years.”

Willie Heston was Michigan’s first All-American running back and the first Wolverine to earn back-to-back selections in 1903 and 1904. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Willie Heston set rushing records that were never recorded. He was probably the first Michigan running back to rush for 100-yards and 200-yards. Maybe even 300-yards, but his achievements were not documented the way things are today. One thing that is documented is that he still holds the record for career touchdowns with seventy-two. Yes, you read it right! The man knew how to get the ball into the end zone. Heston became the second Michigan Man, and first halfback, to earn All-American honors in 1903. His stellar play in 1904 made him the first Michigan Man to earn back-to-back All-American honors in 1904.

Yes, Willie Heston was one of the best ever. He died on September 9, 1963 at eighty-five years of age.


Part II. Trivia Question of the Day – January 14, 2018:

Who was the first Michigan Man to return a kickoff 99-yards?

Part III. Wolverine of the Day: Bill Hewitt

According to the Wikipedia article listed below, William Ernest “Bill” Hewitt died on this day in 1947 at the age of thirty-seven. Of course, he died way too soon since he lost his life in a car accident in Pennsylvania.

Bill Hewitt lettered on three Michigan Football teams from 1929 to 1931. He was a versatile player who had multiple starts at fullback and end during his career. Hewitt played on the first three teams that were coached by Michigan Man Harry Kipke.

Hewitt helped the Wolverines post an excellent record of 21-4-3 in his career. After a slow start in 1929, Michigan won a share of the Big Ten title in 1930 and 1931.

Bill Hewitt played so well in 1931 that he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. He rushed for 446-yards on 118 carries and averaged 3.8 yards per carry. Hewitt was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1931 Michigan Football team.

Bill Hewitt Michigan Football 1931 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Bill Hewitt was the MVP of the 1931 Big Ten Champion Michigan Wolverines. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

The multi-talented Hewitt played professional football for the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles. Check out his accomplishments in the link below.

So, today is a great day to remember another Wolverine who is part of Michigan’s amazing football history. May Bill Hewitt continue to rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!



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