1965 Michigan Football team | gobluefootballhistory.com Michigan Wolverine Football History

June 9, 2018 Happy Birthday Wally Gabler

Posted on June 9, 2018 by Barry Gallagher

Today’s post celebrates a Happy Birthday for a Michigan Man named Wally Gabler. Wallace “Wally” Gabler was born on this day at Portsmouth , Ohio. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Gabler grew up in Royal Oak, Michigan. Gabler had an excellent high school football career at Royal Oak Kimball High School. However, he wanted to play more football and get a college education.

Part I. Wolverine of the Day: Wally Gabler   

Gabler arrived in Ann Arbor in 1962. He didn’t play as a freshman because freshmen were not eligible in the 1960s. Wally settled in at number two or three on the depth chart in 1963 and 1964, but did not play enough to earn a letter in either year. Bob Timberlake was starting every game and he led the Wolverines to the Big Ten Championship in 1964.

With Timberlake playing in the National Football League, Gabler had a real shot to start at quarterback in 1965. Unfortunately, Dick Vidmer won the starting job and Gabler was back to second string.

The Wolverines began the 1965 season with 2 wins and 2 losses. Coach Bump Elliott decided to make a change.  He started Gabler in the Homecoming Game against Purdue. Gabler got off to a rough start but almost led the Wolverines to victory. Unfortunately, the “Spoilermakers” ruined the day for all Michigan alumni with a 15-17 win.

Wally Gabler Michigan Football 1965 | gobluefootballhistory.com

Wally Gabler (#29 far left) looks to gain yards against Ohio State. Dave Fischer (#33), Tom Mack (#96) and Don Bailey (#55) look for Buckeyes to block. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Wally Gabler started the final six games, but the Wolverines won 2 and lost 4. Michigan finished with a final record of 4 wins, 6 losses and 0 ties. The reigning Big Ten Champions dropped to a seventh-place finish at the end of the season. Wally Gabler played some good football that season, but it wasn’t good enough.

Gabler went to Canada to continue his football career in 1966. He played for seven years for three different teams. In 1970, he led the Hamilton Tiger Cats to the Eastern Division title. Wally Gabler had some very productive years in the CFL before he retired in 1972. One of he most interesting things about his CFL career was the fact that he was traded from the Toronto Argonauts to the Winnepeg Blue Bombers for a player named Dave Raimey in 1969. Of course, Raimey was also a Michigan Wolverine. It was probably the only time in Canadian Football League that two Wolverines were involved in a one-for-one trade.

Yes, today is a good day to remember the contributions of Wally Gabler to Michigan Football. I hope that he has a great birthday celebration today – Go Blue!



Part II. Trivia Question of the Day: June 8, 2018

Who was the first Wolverine football coach to lead the team to 25 straight wins?

Part II. Trivia Answer of the Day June 8, 2018    Fielding H. Yost

Fielding Yost took Ann Arbor and the football universe by storm starting in 1901. Yost’s Wolverines were dubbed the “Point-a-Minute” teams because they scored a ton of points and won a lot of games.

In fact, Michigan won 29 straight games from 1901 until the middle of the 1903 season when a 6-6 tie at Minnesota stopped the winning. The Wolverines started a new streak and won another 26 games before losing the first game of the Yost Era (0-2) at Chicago in 1905.

It was one of the greatest “runs” in college football history!

Part III. Trivia Question of the Day: June 9, 2018

It has only happened once in Michigan Football History. What two brothers are the only ones to be named winners of the Meyer Morton Award for outstanding performances in spring football practice?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *