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June 27, 2017 Happy Birthday Anniversary Abe Cohn!

Posted on June 27, 2017 by Barry Gallagher

Today is a great day to celebrate the Happy Birthday Anniversary of a Michigan Man named Abe Cohn. Abraham Jerome “Abe” Cohn was born on this day in 1897 in Portland, Oregon. He came to Ann Arbor to study law and play football for Fielding Yost in 1917.

Cohn was a talented runner who say a lot of action in 1917. He started 1 game at right halfback, 5 games at left halfback and 2 games at fullback for Yost’s Wolverines. He scored two touchdowns and helped Michigan post a record of 8 wins and 2 losses for the season. Michigan was finally back in the Big Ten Conference in 1917, but only played one game against Northwestern because of scheduling difficulties. The Wolverines lost to the Wildcats in the last game of the season and finished in a tie for 8th place with a Big Ten record of 0-1-0.

Abe Cohn started every one of Michigan’s five games in 1918. Three starts were at right halfback and 2 were at left halfback. Cohn ran hard and played well all season. He probably played his best game against Michigan Agricultural College where he scored a touchdown in Michigan’s 21-6 win over the Aggies. Michigan won every game they played, but also had five games cancelled due to a flu epidemic and travel restrictions brought about by World War I. The Wolverines finished the season with a perfect record of 5-0-0 overall and 2-0-0 in the conference. They tied for the Big Ten Title and were declared national champions at the end of the season. 

Abe Cohn Michigan Football 1920 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Abe Cohn lettered on three Fielding Yost teams and played running back on a Big Ten and National Championship team in 1918. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Abe Cohn, on the advice of Fielding Yost, chose to save his last year of eligibility and did not play in 1919.  However, Abe returned in 1920 to finish his Michigan football career. After a losing season in 1919 (3-4-0), the Wolverines bounced back in 1920 with a record of 5 wins and 2 losses. They went 2-2-0 in the conference with was only good enough for sixth place.

Abe Cohn had an excellent career at Michigan. He helped the Wolverines win 18 of 22 games and played on a Big Ten champion and a National Championship team in 1918. Here are some interesting firsts that connect Abraham J. Cohn and Wolverine Football:

·         Abe Cohn played in the first ever games against the University of Detroit and Western Michigan in 1917. The Wolverines won both games.

·         Cohn played on the first game ever Big Ten team to win at least one conference championship (1918) in every decade of the first three decades of conference play.  

·         Abe Cohn played in the first ever game against Tulane in 1920. Michigan won the game by a score of 21-0.

So, on the 120th anniversary of his birth, let us remember another True/Blue Michigan Man. Abe Cohn  played a lot of good football for Michigan. He lettered on three Fielding Yost teams and finished his career as a champion! He enjoyed a very successful life after his playing days. Take a moment today, to honor his memory and celebrate his accomplishments. Thank you, Abe Cohn for your contributions to the great history of Michigan football. Abe Cohn died on October 23, 1970 at the age of seventy-three. May he always rest in peace. Go Blue!



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