Today’s post honors the Happy Birthday Anniversary of Paul Magoffin. Michigan Man Paul Magoffin was born on this day in Kansas in 1885. He made his way from Kansas to Washington and then to Marietta, Ohio before arriving in Ann Arbor in 1904. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Magoffin played football in high school and also ran track at Central High School in Washington, D.C.. After high school, he played one year of college football at Marietta College for William C. “King” Cole who played for Fielding Yost. Magoffin decided to do the same, so he headed to Ann Arbor.
Paul Magoffin started three games at right halfback in 1904 on Michigan’s fourth straight national and Western Conference Championship team. The Wolverines ended the season with a perfect record of 10-0-0 and posted 2 wins and 0 losses in Big Ten play. Magoffin earned a letter in his first year on Yost’s varsity, which was not easy to do.
Magoffin continued to play well in 1905 on the first Michigan team to win 12 games. Unfortunately, they didn’t win 13 and a 0-2 loss to Chicago caused them to finish the year at 12 wins and 1 loss. Their conference record of 2-1 put them in second place, behind Chicago. Paul started four games at left halfback in 1905 and he earned his second varsity letter.
Paul Magoffin was back in 1906 and he helped Michigan to another successful season. Once again, he started four games at left halfback and earned his third varsity letter. The Wolverines, who tried to adhere to the new conference rules, only played five games in 1906. They posted a final record of 4 wins and 1 loss. They did go undefeated in conference play (1-0-0) and won the conference championship.
When the Western Conference tried to impose stricter rules on the membership, Fielding Yost balked. After some intense negotiations with conference officials, Yost recommended that Michigan leave the conference and become an independent. So, that’s what happened.
The 1907 season would be the first season that Michigan played as an independent since 1895. Paul Magoffin was elected Captain of the 1907 team for that first season out of the Western Conference. He started five of six games and helped lead Michigan to a record of 5 wins and 1 loss. He earned his fourth varsity letter for Fielding Yost which may have been his fifth as a college player. Of course, the rules were a little more fluid in those days, so Paul Magoffin was able to play a lot of college football!
Paul Magoffin had a successful career at Michigan. He also is connected to some interesting football “firsts” at Michigan.
· Paul Magoffin scored two touchdowns in the first, and only game, that Michigan has ever won by a margin of 130 points. (West Virginia in 1904 – 130-0).
· Paul Magoffin also played in the first, and only game against A. M. S. of Chicago in 1904. Michigan won by a score of 72-0.
· Magoffin also played in the first ever games against Nebraska and Vanderbilt in 1905, both games were Wolverine wins.
· Magoffin played in the first, and only, game that Michigan has ever lost by a score of 0-2 against Chicago in 1905.
· Paul Magoffin played on the first Wolverine team to win twelve games in 1905.
· Magoffin played in the first game (October 6 vs Case) and the first season of new Ferry Field in 1906.
· Paul Magoffin played in the first, and only, game against Wabash in 1907. Michigan won by a score of 22-0.
So, Paul Magoffin was an important player in the early years of Michigan football. He helped Michigan win thirty-one games, a national championship and two conference titles. Magoffin was a four-time letterman and a Michigan captain.
Paul Magoffin lived a full life and passed away on February 1, 1956 at the age of seventy.. Today is a great day to remember his accomplishments and celebrate the memory of Paul Magoffin. He gave his all for Michigan. May Paul Magoffin always rest in peace. Go Blue!