Photoshop Phriday: Harry Kipke
With just six days to go until Michigan football season starts I am at the ‘ready to run through a brick wall’ stage of excitement. As a running back at Michigan Harry Kipke didn’t break through brick walls (that I know of) but was a menace to defensive lines. Like Bennie Oosterbaan would in the years following, Kipke played football, basketball, and baseball at Michigan. With Fielding Yost at the helm Kipke captained Michigan to a national title in 1923. He didn’t just star on offense either, Kipke was known as one of the best punters in the game and remains one of the all time greats at Michigan. After starring at Michigan Kipke turned to coaching. He holds the distinction of being the only person to be a head coach at both Michigan and Michigan State.
Kipke coached at MSU (then known as Michigan State College) for one year before getting the Michigan offer from Yost. His early teams experienced great success; Michigan won four consecutive Big 10 titles from 1930-33, and back to back national titles in 1932 and ’33. Down years followed from 1934-37 (teams that included Gerald Ford) and the following year Fritz Crisler was hired to lead the team. Much like the hiring of Rich Rodriguez was a move away from the Bo Schembechler coaching tree, the Crisler hire was a departure from the connections with Yost. Kipke’s commitment to Michigan remained strong and he served as a member of the Board of Regents in the 1940s. He was known to bring fresh bread to meetings, including the double chocolate sourdough he loved to punt as a player.