1917 Detroit Tigers football team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1917 Detroit Tigers football
Conference Independent
1917 record 8–1
Head coach James F. Duffy (1st season)
← 1916
1918 →

The 1917 Detroit Tigers football team represented the University of Detroit in the 1917 college football season. The team compiled an 8–1 record, shut out five opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 389 to 34. The team opened the season with a school record 145 to 0 victory over the Toledo Rockets. Its sole loss was to Michigan by a 14 to 3 score.[1] Tillie Voss starred for the 1917 team.

Coaching changes[edit]

On March 3, 1917, the University of Detroit hired Gil Dobie as its head football coach. Dobie had compiled a 58–0–3 record in nine years as head football coach at the University of Washington. Dobie was lured with the promise that he need work only three months and otherwise devote himself to business.[2] Shortly after Dobie's hiring, a game was scheduled for the fall with Fielding H. Yost's Michigan Wolverines football team.[3]

Dobie came to Detroit and began coaching the team through early practice sessions in August,[4] but suddenly withdrew from the post at the end of August to become head football coach at the U.S. Naval Academy.[5] Dobie reportedly left Detroit "because he was not satisfied with the small squad" that had turned out.[6]

James F. Duffy, a high school coach in Detroit, was hired to take over as the team's head coach. Duffy went on to coach the team for six years.


October 10Toledo
  • University of Detroit athletic field
  • Detroit
W 145–0[7]
October 17at MichiganL 3–14[8]
October 20Kalamazoo College
  • Elmwood Avenue
  • Detroit
W 26–0[9]
October 27at Michigan AgriculturalEast Lansing, MIW 14–0[10]
November 3Northwestern CollegeW 35–0[11]
November 10Rose Polytechnic (Terre Haute, IN)
  • Navin Field
  • Detroit
W 84–0[12]
November 17Western State
  • Navin Field
  • Detroit
W 35–6[13]
November 24Buffalo
  • Navin Field
  • Detroit
W 20–7[14]
December 1Camp MacArthur (Waco, TX)
  • Navin Field
  • Detroit
W 27–7[15]


  1. ^ "Detroit Yearly Results (1915-1919)". College Football Data Warehouse. David DeLassus. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Gilmour Dobie To Coach Football at University". Detroit Free Press. March 4, 1917. p. 19 – via Newspapers.com]]. 
  3. ^ "Eight Gridiron Games Will Be Home Affairs". Detroit Free Press. March 19, 1917. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com. 
  4. ^ "Dobie Calls U. of D. Football Candidates for First Work". Detroit Free Press. August 19, 1917. p. 16 – via Newspapers.com. 
  5. ^ "Successor To Dobie Is Not Decided On". Detroit Free Press. August 30, 1917. p. 9 – via Newspapers.com. 
  6. ^ "Gilmour Dobie Will Coach Navy". Pittsburgh Daily Post. August 30, 1917. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com. 
  7. ^ "U. of D. Runs Over Toledo Ruthlessly". Detroit Free Press. October 11, 1917. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com. 
  8. ^ E. A. Batchelor (October 18, 1917). "Wolverines Victorious Over U. of D.: Michigan Beats Jefferson Avenue Boys, 14 to 3, in Scrappy, Erratic Game; Forward Passes Give Winners Touchdowns". Detroit Free Press. pp. 11–12 – via Newspapers.com. 
  9. ^ K. W. Hall (October 28, 1912). "Four Scores Are Made by Detroiters". Detroit Free Press. p. 9 – via Newspapers.com. 
  10. ^ "Long Sprints Bring U. of D. the Victory". Detroit Free Press. October 28, 1917. p. 19 – via Newspapers.com. 
  11. ^ K. W. Hall (November 4, 1917). "U. of D. Bumps Northwest'n Eleven Hard". Detroit Free Press. p. 21 – via Newspapers.com. 
  12. ^ K. W. Hall (November 11, 1917). "Rose Poly Is No Match for U. of D. Tribe". Detroit Free Press. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com. 
  13. ^ K. W. Hall (November 18, 1917). "U. of D. Whips Kazoo Eleven by Fine Work". Detroit Free Press. p. 17 – via Newspapers.com. 
  14. ^ K. W. Hall (November 25, 1917). "U. of D. Adds Another To Its Victories". Detroit Free Press. p. 21 – via Newspapers.com. 
  15. ^ K. W. Hall (December 2, 1917). "Allen Star of Victory Over Army". Detroit Free Press. p. 23 – via Newspapers.com.