Today’s post celebrates the memory of George W. Gregory who went to rest in peace on this day in 1946. He was sixty-seven years old when he died. George W. Gregory was born on April 19, 1879 in California. Yes, the story of this Wolverine “Pigskin Pioneer” goes way back to the Nineteenth Century!
(Note – George W. Gregory is shown above with the 1903 Michigan National Champion Football team. He is standing in the middle row – second man from the right. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)
According to the Wikipedia article linked below, George Gregory enrolled at Stanford University in 1900. He wanted to study law and play football. His coach was a young vagabond named Fielding H. Yost. The talented Yost was coaching his fourth different team in four years. It seemed like he couldn’t keep a job, but he had an excellent record.
Yost’s team posted a record of 7 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie in 1900. However, it wasn’t good enough. After the season, the athletic board decided that only Stanford graduates would coach at Stanford. So, Yost was looking for a job, for the fifth straight season. As it turned out, he landed at Michigan. The rest, as they say, is history!
Gregory followed Coach Yost to Ann Arbor and it turned out to be a good decision. Yost’s first team at Michigan was one of the greatest teams in college football history. Gregory started all eleven games in 1901 and helped the Wolverines post a perfect record of 11-0-0. The Wolverines also won the Western Conference Championship and were declared National Champions. In an ironic turn of events, Yost, Gregory and the rest of the Michigan Football team returned to California to play in the first Rose Bowl game against Stanford. Of course, Michigan won the game by a score of 49-0 and it wasn’t even that close.
George W. Gregory’s next two seasons in Ann Arbor were almost exactly the same as his first. Michigan continued to win, and win BIG. By the time he finished law school, George Gregory was a member of some of the greatest teams in Michigan Football History. The Wolverines posted a record of 33 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie during the time that Gregory played at Michigan. He started thirty-two games and became a fixture on Yost’s offensive and defensive lines.
George Gregory earned three varsity letters during his time at Michigan. He was a three-time conference and national champion. Yes, he played on some great teams. Gregory earned the nickname “Dad” while he played for the Wolverines since he was 22-years old when he arrived in Ann Arbor. Of course, he earned the respect of the younger players and helped lead them to three straight undefeated seasons.
Today is a great day to appreciate the contributions of men like George W. “Dad” Gregory to the great history of Michigan Football. He is still an important part of a great legacy. May George W. Gregory continue to rest in eternal peace! Go Blue!
Michigan has played three games on the sixth day of September in 140 seasons. So far, they have 2 wins and 1 defeat for this day on the calendar. Michigan’s best game on this day was the first game on this date in 2003. Lloyd Carr’s Wolverines blasted Houston by a score of 50-3 in the Big House. Michigan led 22-0 at halftime and added 28 more points in the second half. It was one of the biggest opening season wins of the Lloyd Carr Era. Go Blue!
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