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March 8, 2019 Rest in Peace John Hollister

Posted on March 7, 2019 by Barry Gallagher

Today’s post celebrates the memory of John Hollister who went to rest in peace on this day in 1950 at the age of eighty. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, John Willis Hollister was born on October 21, 1869 in North Pawlet, Vermont. He arrived in Ann Arbor in 1893 to study law and play football for the Michigan Wolverines. John Hollister is another one of those beloved “Pigskin Pioneers” that helped build the winningest program in college football history!

Part I. Wolverine of the Day: John Hollister

John Hollister is listed as a halfback on the 1893 Michigan Football Roster. He was described as a “varsity” player with a height of 5’ 8” and a weight of 163 pounds. Hollister’s hometown was listed as Beloit, Wisconsin. He lettered on the 1893 team and earned a spot in the team photograph which meant that he probably did just fine on a team that won 7 games and lost 3 times.

From Playing to Coaching and Back Again

Apparently, Hollister took a leave from his football and his studies to be the first football coach at Beloit College. His efforts were rewarded many years later when he was posthumously inducted into the Beloit College Hall of Honor in 1980 for starting the athletic tradition at Beloit. John Hollister returned to Michigan in the Fall of 1895 to finish his football and his legal studies.

John Holister Michgain Football | bigbluefootballhistory.com

John Hollister played on the first Michigan Football team to win six home games in 1895. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

John Hollister earned another letter on the 1895 Michigan football team that won 8 games and lost only 1 contest. It was the fourth straight season that Michigan won at least seven games. The Wolverines were becoming a very strong football program in the mid-1890s. They would join the Western Conference in 1896 and, as they say, “the rest is history.”

So, halfback John Hollister was an important player in his two years of Michigan football. He scored three touchdowns in a 42-0 win over the Detroit Athletic Club and played a lot of good football for the Wolverines.

John Hollister and Some Important Michigan Football Firsts

John Hollister would not be in today’s article if he wasn’t associated with some Michigan “football firsts.” Here are the ones that I could find:

·         John Hollister played in the first game ever at The Athletic Field on October 7, 1893. (Michigan defeated the Detroit Athletic Club by a score of 6-0)

·         Hollister played in the first, and only, game that a Michigan team ever played at the Detroit Baseball Club Field on November 23, 1895. (Michigan defeated Minnesota by the score of 20-0)

·         John Hollister played in the first, and only, game against Adelbert College on 10/19/1895. (UM won that one by a score of 64-0)

·         Hollister played in the first of 2 games against Rush Lake Forest College on 10/26/1896. (Another win – 40-0)

·         John Hollister played on the first Michigan team to win six homes games in one season in 1895.

·         Hollister played on the first team to post 7 shut outs in one season in 1895.

John Hollister did some coaching after he graduated from the Michigan Law School in 1896. He finished his career doing legal work in the publishing industry in Chicago which is where he died in 1950. Today is a great day to remember a “Michigan Man” who contributed greatly to the early history of Michigan football. May John W. Hollister continue to rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!



Part II. March 8, 2019 National Day Calendar Update



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