Photoshop Phriday: Bennie Oosterbaan
Before moving into a new building a few years ago the Michigan football team practiced in Oosterbaan Field House. If they had wanted the University would have been perfectly justified in giving the same name to the basketball or baseball facilities. Nowadays there are few prominent college football players that see action on both sides of the ball and even fewer play multiple sports. But from 1924-1928 Bennie Oosterbaan managed to play 3 sports, and play them all exceedingly well. He was a five-time All American selection, three times for football and twice for basketball. On the football field Oosterbaan did it all. He was a star receiver, defensive end, and a quarterback when needed; in 1927 against OSU he threw three touchdown passes.
When not playing football or basketball, you could find Oosterbaan on a baseball field. In his senior year Oosterbaan won both the Big 10 basketball scoring and baseball batting titles. After a star athletic career he transitioned to coaching right after graduation. He was the head coach of Michigan’s basketball team from 1938-46 and then in 1948 took the reins of the football team. Given everything you already know about him, it should be no surprise to find out they won the national title that year. How did he have the energy for three varsity sports? Lots of seedy salt bread of course!