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July 9, 2017 Rest in Peace David Dunlap!

Posted on July 9, 2017 by Barry Gallagher

Today’s post celebrates the memory of David Dunlap who went to rest in peace on this day in 1954. He was seventy-six when he died. David Lewis Dunlap was born on December 7, 1877 in Iowa. Yes, the story of this Wolverine “Pigskin Pioneer” goes way back to the Nineteenth Century!

According to the Wikipedia article linked below, David Dunlap earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Lenox College in Hopkinton, Iowa in 1901. He came to Ann Arbor to study medicine and play football for Michigan and a rookie coach named Fielding H. Yost.

David Dunlap did become a doctor in 1906, but he was not a famous Michigan football player far from it! However, he is part of the history of Wolverine football and deserves to be mentioned today. Dunlap’s name first appeared on a Michigan Football Roster in 1901. He was simply listed as a “r” for reserve player.  as a “reserve.” There was no position entered for his name. So, that meant that he was primarily a practice player. Of the eighty-six players listed on the 1901 team roster, only thirteen earned a letter! It appears that it was harder to win a letter from Mr. Yost than it was to beat him! 

David Dunlap Michigan Football 1905 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Dr. David Dunlap earned a medical degree from Michigan in 1906. Apparently that was easier than winning a varsity letter from Fielding Yost! Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

The rest of Dunlap’s football career at Michigan was more of the same. He was listed on the rosters in 1902, 1903 and 1905. In fact, he started one game at right end in 1903 and started four games in 1905 (3 at left halfback and 1 at right halfback). Unfortunately, he was never able to earn one varsity letter for his contributions to Michigan Football. Such was the life for many Michigan Men who played for the legendary Yost.

David Dunlap was a member of some of the greatest teams in Michigan Football history. The Wolverines posted a record of 45 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie during the time that Dunlap was on a Michigan Football Roster.

It appears that David Dunlap was a willing and versatile player. He played end and two positions in the backfield. Dunlap did what Coach Yost asked him to do, but it wasn’t enough to earn a letter. Although he didn’t earn the highly coveted block “M” letter, David Dunlap is connected to some interesting football “firsts” at Michigan.

·         David Dunlap was a member of the first team that Fielding Yost coached at Michigan in 1901.

·         Dunlap was a member of the first team in Michigan Football history to win 11 games and claim a National Championships.

·         David Dunlap was a member of the first Michigan team to play games against Drake, Ferris State, and Ohio Northern in 1903 and Michigan won them all. This was also the first ten game “Home” game season in Michigan football history.

·         Dunlap was also on the team for the first ever games against Nebraska and Vanderbilt in 1905 and Michigan won them both.

·         David Dunlap was also on the team for the first thirteen game season in Michigan football history in 1905. It was also the first eleven game home season in Michigan football history and the Wolverines won them all! Go Blue!

·         Dunlap was also on the first Michigan team to win twelve games in 1905. Michigan finished with a record of 12 wins and 1 loss and ended their undefeated streak at 56-games.

So, David Dunlap, from Hopkinton, Iowa, was a small part of the most dominant era of Michigan Wolverine football. Please take a few moments to think about the contributions of men like David Dunlap. Not everyone who comes to play football at Michigan becomes a star. Many don’t ever play in a game or earn a letter. However, they are still a part of the winningest program in college football and should be remembered for their contributions on the practice field. I am happy to celebrate the memory of Michigan Wolverine Dr. David Dunlap May he continue to rest in eternal peace! Go Blue!




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