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January 20, 2020 Happy Birthday Anniversary - Captain Archie Kodros.

Posted on January 19, 2020 by Barry Gallagher

Today’s post celebrates the birthday anniversary of Archie Kodros. Archie J. Kodros grew up in Illinois. He was an excellent athlete at Alton High School in southern Illinois. In fact, he was good enough to earn a scholarship to play football at Illinois. Interestingly, Kodros spurned the Illinois offer and chose to be a “walk on” for Harry Kipke’s Wolverines in 1936. Although Michigan’s football fortunes were on the decline, Kodros wanted to play center in the tradition of Michigan’s many All-Americans who had played the position before him.

(Note - Archie Kodros (#53) shown here with the ball and the 1939 Michigan Football team. Captain Kodros is seated in the center of the second row between Fritz Crisler and Fielding Yost. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.)

Part I. Wolverine of the Day: Archie Kodros

Archie Kodros did what everybody else did in the 1930s, he spent his time on the freshman time and did his best to learn “Michigan football” and how to stay eligible at a big-time school like Michigan. Apparently, young Archie learned his lessons well. The good news was that Kodros started seven of eight games at center in 1937 and earned his first varsity football letter. The bad news was that Kipke’s Wolverines finished the season with a record of 4 wins and 4 losses. They were even in the conference at 3 wins and 3 losses. Of course, this was not a terrible record for most teams, but it wasn’t good enough for Michigan. Harry Kipke would soon be done at Michigan.

A New Coach Shows Up in 1938

Fritz Crisler was Michigan’s new football coach in 1938. Now, Archie Kodros and his teammates, had to impress the demanding Crisler to earn playing time.  Archie must have made a good impression on his new coach. Kodros started seven games and helped turn things around for Michigan. The Wolverines finished with a record of 6-1-1 at the end of the 1938 season. Michigan also finished in a tie for second in the Big Ten Conference with a record of 3-1-1. Archie Kodros earned his second letter that season and also won the Meyer Morton Award for his improved play.

Archie Kodros had the honor to captain the 1939 Michigan Football Team. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Archie Kodros - A Captain in 1939

Archie Kodros was a hard worker who earned the respect of his teammates in 1937 and 1938. His tireless work-ethic, toughness and exceptional blocking ability made him the popular choice for captain in 1939. Archie continued to lead by example as a senior. He started seven games for the third straight season. He helped push the Wolverines to another winning season in year two of the Fritz Crisler Era. Michigan finished with an overall record of 6-2-0. However, the Wolverines slipped in the Big Ten and finished in a fourth-place tie at 3-2-0. Archie Kodros, along with his linemates, played a key role in Tom Harmon’s All-American season in 1939. In fact, Kodros earned selections to a number of newspaper All-American teams. Unfortunately, none of them are recognized in the official Michigan Football archives.

Archie Kodros and Some Interesting Michigan Football “Firsts”

Of course, I would not be talking about Archie Kodros today if he wasn’t part of some Michigan football “firsts.” Here are three for Archie Kodros.

·         Archie was a member of the first and only Michigan football team to finish with a record of 0-5-0 in Big Ten Conference play in 1936. Ugh!

·         Kodros played on Fritz Crisler’s first football team at Michigan (1938).

·         Archie, along with his teammates, was on the first team to wear Michigan’s  legendary winged helmet (October 1, 1938).

So, on the 102nd anniversary of his birth, let us remember Archie J. Kodros. Archie epitomized the spirit of a true-blue Michigan Man. He was a selfless player who loved competing for the Wolverines. Archie Kodros went on to a long and successful career as a football coach at many levels after he left Michigan. Read more about his accomplishments in the Wikipedia link below. Archie Kodros died on June 04, 1990 at seventy-two years of age. May he always rest in peace. Go Blue!



Part II. January 20, 2020 National Day Calendar Update

Once again, today is another day on the calendar with multiple events to bring to your attention. Actually, there are four items on today’s list. Of course, the most significant one is the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. His passionate work for equal rights for all people left an incredible legacy that lives on today. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work to do in American before his dream is achieved.

  • National Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Buttercrunch Day
  • Cheese Lover’s Day
  • Disc Jockey Day

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