Today is a great day to wish happy birthday to a former Wolverine All-American player and championship coach named Bump Elliott. We will talk more about that after we take a closer look at today’s Michigan “trivia.”
Who is the first, and only, Michigan Man to earn four varsity letters in the same academic year?
Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch came to Ann Arbor from Madison in 1943 because of the V-12 Navy College Training Program during World War II. As it turned out, Elroy Hirsch only spent year in Ann Arbor, but he really made it count! Elroy was an exceptional athlete who lived up to the hype by earning four varsity letters during the 1943-44 academic year at Michigan.
Hirsch played really well on offense and defense for the Wolverines. Michigan posted an excellent record of 8 wins and 1 loss in 1943. Their only loss was to top-ranked Notre Dame which finished as the national champion. The Wolverines went undefeated in conference play and gave Fritz Crisler his first Big Ten championship.
Elroy jumped onto the basketball court as soon as the football season ended. He played center for Bennie Oosterbaan’s Wolverines and finished as the team’s third leading scorer. Hirsch scored 95 points during the season which averaged out to just over seven points (7.3) per game.
Things really got crazy for “Crazy Legs” in the spring. He did double duty as a long jumper on the track team and a pitcher on the baseball team. I am certain that he slept well every night! As luck would have it, the baseball and track teams also won Big Ten titles in 1943-44. So, Elroy Hirsch is also the first, and only, Michigan Man to letter on three championship teams in the same academic year!
Once again, Elroy Hirsch was the first, and still the only, man to earn four varsity letters in one academic year at Michigan. It remains one of the most amazing accomplishments in the history of Michigan Athletics. Sadly, Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch went to rest in peace on January 28, 2004. May Elroy Hirsch continue to rest in peace. Go Blue!
Who was the first player to rush for 100-yards in a game in the Bo Schembechler Era?
Today is a great day to send Happy Birthday wishes out to a Michigan legend named Chalmers “Bump” Elliott.
Bump Elliott started his football career at Purdue in 1943. He served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II and came to Michigan in 1946. Bump was a star among stars on Michigan’s 1947 National Championship Football team. Elliott was the second leading rusher on that great Michigan team. He also led the team in pass receiving and finished second in punt returns too. He earned All-Conference and All-American honors in 1947. He was named as the Most Valuable Player for the Wolverines and in the Big Ten that season. Yes, he was a great football player!
After graduation in 1948, Bump began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Oregon State in 1948. He jumped at the opportunity to coach with Michigan Man Forest Evashevaski at Iowa in 1952. Bump helped the Hawkeyes win the Big Ten and Rose Bowl championships in 1956. Elliott returned in Ann Arbor as a backfield coach for Bennie Oosterbann in 1957. When Bennie hung up his whistle, Fritz Crisler put Bump Elliott in charge of Michigan Football in 1959.
Bump Elliott coached the Michigan Wolverines for ten seasons (1959-1968). He posted an overall record of 51 wins 42 losses and 2 ties. Maize and Blue footballers won 33 games, lost 34 and tied 2 in conference play during the Elliott Era.
The good news was that Bump won the Big Ten Championship in 1964 and led his team to victory in the 1965 Rose Bowl game. He is the only Michigan Man to win the Rose Bowl as a player and a coach.
Bump Elliott went on to enjoy a very successful career as the athletic director at Iowa. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989. Please take a moment today to remember the great Michigan legacy of Bump Elliott – a superb Michigan Man! Go Blue!