Today is a great day to celebrate the life of a former Wolverine Captain named Art Renner who went to rest in peace on this day in 1999. Arthur W. “Art” Renner, Fritz Crisler’s next-to-last “captain,” passed away on this date at Sturgis, Michigan. According to the 1943 Michigan Team Roster, Renner came to Ann Arbor from Sturgis, Michigan. He came to play for Crisler’s Wolverines players in the “war years.” Art Renner played four years of varsity football because of the modified rules that expanded player eligibility during this time.
Art Renner played end and started a total of twenty-four games from 1943 to 1946. He played on one championship team (1943) and three other second place units. Michigan’s record was impressive during this time. Crisler’s Wolverines posted an excellent record of 29 wins, 8 losses, 1 tie during Art’s time at Michigan. Michigan’s Big Nine record was even more impressive (21-2-1) during the “Renner Years.”
Like so many men of his generation, Arthur W. Renner’s life was interrupted by World War II. He entered the United States Marine Corps in late 1944. Fortunately, Art was able to return for the 1945 season after the war ended.
After the 1945 season, Art Renner was elected by his teammates to be the Captain of the 1946 Michigan Football team. It was a great honor for the hard-working Renner. Mr. Renner finished his Michigan career in 1946, but only started two games.
Arthur W. Renner is connected to some interesting Michigan Football “firsts.” Here are the ones I found:
· Renner played in the first ever game against a number 1 ranked team – Notre Dame – in 1943. The Wolverines lost their only game of the season to the top ranked Irish by a score of 12-35.
· Art Renner played on the first Michigan team to play a six-game Big Ten season in 1943.
· Renner also played on Fritz Crisler’s first conference championship team in 1943.
· Art Renner played in Michigan’s first ever game against Army in 1945.
Although he was good enough to get drafted into the National Football League, Arthur W. Renner chose to put his mechanical engineering degree to work after graduation. So, on the ninety-second anniversary of his death, let’s remember “Captain” Art Renner for his contributions to the long and successful history of Michigan Football. Rest in peace Wolverine!
For more information about the life and times of Arthur W. Renner check out the links below.
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