Alden Arthur Knipe was an American football player and coach. He served as the sixth head football coach at the University of Iowa, serving from 1892 to 1894 and compiling a record of 30–11–4. Knipe was the first head baseball coach at Iowa, coaching two seasons from 1900 to 1901 and tallying a mark 25–8. Knipe played college football at the University of Pennsylvania. After retiring from coaching, authored numerous books for children. Knipe was one of the great football players of the nineteenth century, he played at the University of Pennsylvania for the legendary George Washington Woodruff. In 1893, Knipe scored a touchdown for the Penn Quakers in a game against a Walter Camp-coached Yale team, it was the first points Yale had surrendered since a span of 35 consecutive games. Some sources attribute the famous touchdown to fellow Penn halfback Winchester Osgood, not Knipe. In 1894, Knipe was the team captain for the Quakers, leading Penn to a perfect 12–0 record. For his efforts, Knipe, a halfback and quarterback, was named as a first team All-American that season.
The 1894 Penn squad featured a talented backfield that consisted of Carl S. Williams at quarterback, George H. Brooke at fullback and Winchester Osgood and Knipe at halfback. Both Osgood and Brooke were named first team All-American that year. Woodruff called Knipe "the greatest player I coached." Knipe served for two years as an assistant coach under Woodruff at Penn while earning his degree in medicine. In 1897, Knipe moved to Iowa City; the University of Iowa offered him fifty dollars a month to coach the Hawkeye football team in 1898. Knipe was the first head football coach at Iowa to helm the football team for more than a single season, though five coaches preceded him. Iowa first recognized a varsity football team in 1889 and went without a head coach until 1892. School officials hired E. A. Dalton of Princeton University for ten days prior to the 1892 season to assemble and organize the team, making him Iowa’s first head football coach. Ben "Sport" Donnelly of Princeton was hired for two weeks prior to the 1893 season.
Unlike Dalton, Donnelly was disliked by the Hawkeye players. As a result, Iowa turned away from Princeton and hired Roger Sherman of the University of Michigan in 1894. Sherman was the first Hawkeye coach to coach the entire season. In 1895, Iowa nearly did not field an official team, as the school athletic board ruled that recognition would not be granted until the team paid off its debts. Emergency fundraising allowed the team to be financed and recognized, but Iowa decided not to hire a head coach in 1895. Practices were sloppy and disorganized, Iowa stumbled to a 2–5 record and failed to score in all five losses. Iowa football would never again go without a head coach. School officials hired Alfred E. Bull of the University of Pennsylvania to coach the 1896 squad; the 1896 Hawkeye team went 7–1–1 and won Iowa’s first conference title, claiming the Western Interstate University Football Association crown in Iowa's final year in the conference. The Hawkeyes were led in scoring by the first black football player at Iowa.
Bull's success led school officials to hire more coaches from the University of Pennsylvania, including Otto Wagonhurst in 1897 and Knipe in 1898. Knipe was a stern disciplinarian, friction soon arose between Knipe and the older players of the 1898 team, who resented Knipe's instruction and wanted some control over what positions players played. Iowa started the 1898 season 1–4–1, after a loss to Northern Iowa, Ralph Blackmore led the "Blackmore Revolt", in which five players quit the team. Knipe started younger players, including Clyde Williams and Joe Warner; these younger players would be the backbone of success to follow. Iowa closed the year 2 -- 0 -- 1. Nebraska was coached by Fielding H. Yost. Iowa's finish validated Knipe, school officials announced that Knipe would stay in Iowa City, he coached the 1899 Iowa track team in the 1899 football team that fall. Knipe guided the track team to the 1899 state championship. Before the 1899 football season, Knipe, an accomplished singer and director of Iowa's glee club, sang in a school production of the operetta The Mikado.
It raised $400 for the school's athletic fund. After a season opening win over Northern Iowa in 1899, the Hawkeyes turned their attention to favored Chicago, coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg. Iowa's Billy Edson, an Iowa State transfer, scored a touchdown against Chicago, while the Maroons could muster only a field goal. Since both were scored as five points in those days, Iowa settled for a 5–5 tie. Chicago would go on to win the 1899 Western Conference title with a 12–0–2 record. Hawkeye fans were ecstatic with the tie. Iowa would not yield another point all year, winning their last seven games by a combined score of 194–0. In Iowa's final game of the season, the Hawkeyes defeated Illinois in their first meeting by a 58–0 score. So outmatched were the Illini. Less than 24 hours Arthur G. Smith, Iowa's football team captain in 1890, accepted on behalf of the University of Iowa an invitation for membership in the Western Conference. Iowa has participated in the Western Conference, now known as the Big Ten Conference, since 1900.
Before the 1900 season, the University of Iowa appointed Knipe to a position titled "Director of Physical Culture". Knipe oversaw all Iowa intercollegiate athletics at the time in this director of athletics role, he is referred to as Iowa's first athletic director, though the University of Iowa does not recognize the position until 1910, when i
1918 Michigan Wolverines football team
The 1918 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1918 Big Ten Conference football season. The team's head football coach was Fielding H. Yost in his 18th season with the program; the 1918 team played in a season shortened by World War I travel restrictions and the 1918 flu pandemic. They shared the Big Ten Conference championship with Illinois and finished with a perfect record of 5–0, outscoring opponents 96 to 6. Although no formal mechanism existed in 1918 to select a national champion, the 1918 Michigan team was retroactively selected as the national champion by the Billingsley Report and a co-national champion with Pittsburgh by the National Championship Foundation; the Wolverines played their home games at Ferry Field. Fullback Frank Steketee was selected by Walter Camp as a first-team All-American and was one of the top kickers in the game during the 1918 season. Center Ernie Vick, left tackle Angus Goetz were both selected as first-team All-Big Ten players.
In 1918, the United States was embroiled in World War I. Many University of Michigan students, including athletes, were serving in the military. Team captain Elton Wieman did not play during the 1918 season as he had enlisted in the Aviation Corps. Halfback Eddie Usher was taken into active military service after the first game of the season. Three former Michigan football players were killed in the war. One of the casualties was star end of Fielding Yost's "Point-a-Minute" teams. In April 1918, newspapers published a letter from Redden to a friend back home describing his unit's "baptism of fire":"And so it went from day to day, but oftimes the nights were bad. At night, when the infantry launched its raids, or the enemy his, or the infantry became nervous and called for help, the guns stamped like stallions and snorted their breaths of fire; the blackness of the night became a series of dots and dashes, until the world resembled a vast radio station, spelling hell and hell again. To this must be added the shriek of shells, the whistle of fragments, the automatic hammer effect of the machine gun, the rattle of the rifle fire, the rockets and star shells out over No Man's land—all combined to make the night weird, fascinating, sublime."
The Michigan Alumnus published a letter from another Michigan athlete, Cecil F. Cross, recalling memories of football in Ann Arbor:"The autumn is approaching here; the days are getting shorter and there is a chill in the air... It seems to bring back the old feeling, experienced where the smell of football is in the air, the first cold days of autumn and it makes me homesick, though only slightly. Ralph Henning, of Bay City, is here, though we come from different parts of Michigan and attended different schools, he being the captain of the Michigan Aggies' football team in 1916, we quite talk over the old scenes with which we are both familiar. He, has mentioned the feeling of football in the air. If they were to train an army of football players and throw them into the lines, the last weeks of October, with Coach Yost to address them just before the battle, we would score a touchdown the first half, before Thanksgiving we would have pushed the Germans under their own goal posts and eat dinner in Berlin."
Before the football season began, a rumor spread that football would be abandoned for 1918. The university decided to proceed with the football season, though war-time restrictions limited travel and practice time. To compensate for the players serving in the military, the existing prohibition on freshman players was lifted for the year; as adopted, Michigan's 1918 schedule included games against Cornell and Minnesota. Those games, planned replacement games against Camp Custer and the University of Mount Union, were cancelled. Travel restrictions resulted in cancellation of the Cornell and Minnesota games, the 1918 flu pandemic forced the cancellation or rescheduling of other games. After Cornell cancelled its game, Syracuse was put on the schedule in its place. Michigan opened its season on October 7, 1918, with a home game against the Case Scientific School from Cleveland. Michigan came into the game with only two players who had played for Michigan previously. Despite facing a Case team that returned seven letterman from 1917, head coach Fielding H. Yost expressed confidence in a pre-game interview: "I haven't had a scrimmage since Monday, but the team looks like it ought to go pretty good.
Conditions are fair for a good game, I expect one."Michigan won by a score of 33–0, but the Detroit Free Press noted that the inexperienced team "played a ragged game," albeit showing "promise of development into a smooth playing machine." Cress, playing at center, was credited with playing "the best defensive game of any man on Ferry Field," and John Perrin was reported to have made "a splendid showing." The Detroit Free Press called Abe Cohn "an eye opener" as a ground gainer and noted: "He made a gain every time he was given the ball and, when he was stopped, it always took two or three men to turn the trick." Edward Usher tore ligaments in his ankle while running with the ball and had to be taken out of the game. Freshman Frank Steketee made an impressive debut.
1906 Michigan Wolverines football team
The 1906 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1906 college football season. The team's head coach was Fielding H. Yost in his sixth year at Michigan; the team compiled a record of 4–1 and outscored opponents, 72 to 30. The 1906 season was played under two sets of new rules. First, the rules governing intercollegiate football were changed to promote a more "open" and less dangerous style of play; the changes included the legalization of the forward pass and allowing the punting team to recover an "on-side" kick as a live ball. Second, the Big Nine Conference enacted new rules, including a rule limiting teams to five games and prohibitions on the "training table" and pre-season training before the start of the academic year. Before the season began, university officials ruled that two of the stars from the 1905 team, Germany Schulz and Walter Rheinschild, were academically ineligible to compete in football. Despite the setbacks, Michigan won its first four games by a combined score of 72 to 13.
The season opener against Case Scientific School was the first game played on the new Ferry Field. During the bye week before the final game of the season, Michigan's captain Joe Curtis sustained a broken leg in a practice game against the "scrub" team; the Wolverines lost their final game to 17 -- 0, at Philadelphia's Franklin Field. Two Michigan players, Joe Curtis and fullback John Garrels, were selected as first-team All-Western players. Garrels, who had broken world records in the discus throw and the high hurdles, was selected as a second-team All-American by Walter Camp. On October 6, 1906, Michigan opened its season with a 28–0 victory over the team from Cleveland's Case Scientific School; the game was the first played at the newly completed Ferry Field and attracted a crowd estimated at 2,000 persons. The Detroit Free Press called the field "a beauty." The game was the 10th meeting between the two programs. Michigan had won all nine of the prior games by a combined score of 298 to 31. Fullback John Garrels scored the first touchdown on the new Ferry Field.
The score was set up when Case's fullback, attempted a punt from deep in Case's territory. After a bad snap, Jack Loell tackled Wagar at Case's five-yard line. Garrels scored on "two straight line bucks." Joe Curtis missed the extra point kick, Michigan was unable to score again in the first half. Case threatened once in the first half, when Case's quarterback, returned an on-side kick to Michigan's 20-yard line. Wagar's attempt at a field goal for Case was unsuccessful, Michigan led, 5–0, at halftime. In addition to scoring the first touchdown, Garrels handled punting responsibilities, he kicked an extra point and had the longest end run of the game for a 28-yard gain. Michigan scored four additional touchdowns in the second half. Reimenschneider fumbled the opening kickoff to start the second half, Michigan recovered the ball at Case's 20-yard line. After the turnover, Michigan quarterback Harry Workman ran for a touchdown. Michigan's third touchdown was set up by a poor punt by Case from behind its own goal line.
A penalty was tacked on, Michigan got the ball at the Case 10-yard line. Workman again ran for the touchdown. Clarence Schenk scored Michigan's fourth touchdown on a "cross buck" from the five-yard line; the final touchdown was scored by Arthur "Waukegan" Wright, a substitute right tackle, described as "the'pompadour' haired medic from Illinois," on a 35-yard run following an on-side kick. A rule change enacted in 1906 allowed the punting team to recover a punt as a live ball; the Detroit Free Press described Wright's touchdown as follows:"Garrels made an on-side punt to the Case thirty-five yard line. Wright brought the ball to his breast after the bound as if it was his long-lost child, was saving it from the kidnappers. Three Case men tried to stop him as he was making the run for his fireside home, but he seemed to have a through ticket without a punch, scored the first touchdown of the year on the new rules." Joe Curtis kicked two extra points, Garrels kicked one. On defense, Michigan did not allow a first down on the ground, Case's only first downs coming on an on-side kick and off-side penalties against Michigan.
Michigan did not attempt a single forward pass against Case, leading the Detroit Free Press to write, "Michigan did not uncan it because it is not fermented enough in this climate to make it look good."After the game, Case's coach, opined that Michigan's 1906 team was "30 per cent weaker than any other team that Yost has coached here." Yost said, "I am satisfied. My men did as well; the only star in the game for Michigan was Johnnie Garrels.... Not once during the game did Case make its distance on regular football, they tried the forward pass twice, but both times were thrown back for big losses."Michigan's lineup against Case was Davis, Patrick, Graham and Wright, Embs and Newton and Lewis, Workman and Garrels. Chase of Michigan served as referee. Raymond Starbuck of Cornell was the umpire; the game was played in 20-minute halves. For its second game, Michigan defeated Ohio State, 6–0, before a crowd of 6,000 spectators at University Park in Columbus. A special train carried eleven coaches full of Michigan fans to Columbus, arriving one hour before the game started.
The game was the eighth meeting in the Michigan–Ohio State football rivalry, with Michigan having won six of the prio
1904 Michigan Wolverines football team
The 1904 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1904 Western Conference football season. In the team's fourth season under head coach Fielding H. Yost, the Wolverines compiled a perfect 10–0 record and outscored opponents 567–22; the 1904 team was the fourth of Yost's legendary "Point-a-Minute" teams. Michigan's games were of varying length from 22½ minutes to 70 minutes. Over the course of ten games, Michigan played 476 minutes of football and averaged a point scored for every 50.3 seconds played. The team included future College Football Hall of Fame inductee Willie Heston, who scored 20 touchdowns for 100 points that season. Michigan opened the 1904 college football season on October 1 with a 33–0 win over Cleveland's Case School of Applied Science; the game was played in 20-minute halves, the Wolverines scored 22 points in the first half. Numerous substitutions were made at half-time, the backup players added 11 points in the second half. Fullback Frank Longman scored three touchdowns in the game, Willie Heston, Walter Rheinschild, Joe Curtis scored one touchdown each.
Tom Hammond converted. Heston's touchdown came on a 75-yard run. Case managed only one first down in the game; the Michigan players appearing in the game were: John Garrels, Joe Curtis, Henry Schulte, Ted Hammond, Germany Schulz, Roy Beechler, Tom Hammond, Harry Patrick, Fred Norcross, Walter Becker, Willie Heston, William Dennison Clark, Ted Stuart, James DePree, Frank Longman, Walter Rheinschild. In the second game of the 1904 season, Michigan defeated Ohio Northern, 38–0, in a game consisting of halves of 20 and 15 minutes. Willie Heston had runs of 45, 32, 35 and 30 yards. In the third game of the season, Michigan defeated Kalamazoo College, 95–0, in a game consisting of two 20-minute halves. Heston had long touchdown runs of 65, 70, 85 and 65 yards. In the fourth game of the season, Michigan defeated the Physicians & Surgeons team 72–0 in a short mid-week game lasting only 22½ minutes, a 15-minute first half and a 7½ minute second half. Quarterback Fred Norcross scored four touchdowns, Heston scored three.
Norcross had touchdown runs of 35 and 90 yards. Michigan defeated 31 -- 6, in a game consisting of 30-minute halves in Columbus, Ohio. Heston scored three touchdowns, bringing his season total to 16. For its sixth game of the season, Michigan played a short mid-week game against the American Medical School; the game consisted of a 3 1/2 minute second half. Right halfback. Weeks scored three touchdowns. Heston was limited to a single touchdown; the most lopsided score in Michigan football history. In a game consisting of 25 and 20-minute halves, the Wolverines scored 22 touchdowns and 20 extra points. Joe Curtis alone accounted for 49 points with 19 extra points; the undefeated 1904 team won Michigan's fourth national championship and scored 567 points in 476 minutes of football, averaging a point every 50.3 seconds. For the first time in the 1904 season, Heston did not score. Michigan played its first full-length game of the season against Wisconsin. Michigan won the game, 28–0. Heston and Carter each scored two touchdowns, Norcross added another.
In its ninth game, Michigan defeated the team from Drake by a score of 36–4. The game was played in two 25-minute halves. Curtis led the scoring with 16 points on six extra point kicks. Willie Heston did not play in the game. Michigan concluded an undefeated season with a 22–12 win over the University of Chicago on November 12; the game, played in 35-minute halves, featured several College Football Hall of Fame inductees, including Walter Eckersall and Hugo Bezdek for Chicago and Willie Heston and Germany Schulz for Michigan. Heston and Bezdek each scored single touchdowns, but the lead scorer was Michigan's Tom Hammond with 17 points on three touchdowns and two extra points. Heston finished the season with 20 touchdowns for 100 points; the following 13 players received varsity "M" letters for their participation on the 1904 football team: Charles W. Anderson, Michigan Harry S. Bartlett, Michigan Walter Cooley Becker, Illinois Roy Beechler, New York - started 1 game at right tackle James DePree, Michigan Robert M. Drysdale, Ohio George Palmer Edmonds, Michigan John Garrels, left end, Michigan - started 6 games at left end Edward P. "Ted" Hammond, Michigan - started 2 games at center John F. Lewis, Indiana Jay Mack Love, Arkansas City, Kansas Paul Magoffin, Washington, D.
C. - started 3 games at right halfback William Joseph Miller, Michigan Harry E. Patrick, Michigan - started 1 game at left halfback Duncan H. Pierce, New York Walter Rheinschild, Los Angeles, California Mason Rumney, Michigan Reuben S. Schmidt, Los Angeles, California Charles Smoyer, Ohio Edward G. Weeks, Michigan Harry A. Workman, Illinois Charles A. Briggs, Red Oak, Iowa William Cole, Virginia Roswell Murray Wendell, Michigan Captain: Willie Heston All-Americans: Will
John Woodworth Wilce was an American football player and coach and university professor. He served as the head football coach at Ohio State University from 1913 to 1928, compiling a record of 78–33–9. Wilce is best known for coaching the great Chic Harley and leading Ohio State to their first win over archrival Michigan in 1919, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1954. Wilce was born in New York, he lettered in three sports. In football, Wilce was an all-conference captain of the 1909 team. Following his graduation from Wisconsin, Wilce coached high school football in La Crosse and became both an assistant football coach and assistant professor of physical education at Wisconsin. In 1913, Ohio State began play in the Western Conference the Big Ten Conference, hired Wilce as its head football coach. Wilce's teams won a conference championship in 1916 with a 7–0 record, repeated in 1917 and in 1920 when Ohio State played its first bowl game, losing the 1921 Rose Bowl to California, 28–0.
Wilce coached the Ohio State Buckeyes football team for sixteen seasons, the second longest tenure in school history after Woody Hayes, compiling a career record of 78–33–9. In 1919, Wilce received his medical degree, he retired from football after the 1928 season to practice medicine. Wilce completed postgraduate training in cardiology at University of Edinburgh in the 1930s and was a professor of preventive medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, specializing in research and treatment of heart disease, he served as Director of Student Health Services from 1934 to 1958. The John W. Wilce Student Health Center, built in 1969, is named for Wilce. Wilce's "combination of medicine and football" and a sense of propriety that reflected his English heritage led him to try to reform the speech of his players on and off the field, he coined the phrase "intestinal fortitude." Haber records the story of the coinage, the idea first coming to Wilce on the way to a lecture he was to present on anatomy and physiology at Ohio State in 1916, his first use of the phrase in public in a lecture to his team, how he began to hear the phrase used by others.
In 1954, Wilce was selected for enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame and was elected a member of the Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame in 1977. His academic honors include the Ohio State Distinguished Service Award in 1956, he died of complications of cardiovascular disease on May 17, 1963, in the Columbus suburb of Westerville, Ohio. Of his departure from coaching he was quoted: "Football was becoming too much of a business; the game was being taken away from the boys. I was a faculty-type coach who believed educational aspects were more important than winning games." Wilce was survived by his wife, Minerva Connor Wilce, sons Jay and James M. "Jim" Wilce, daughters Roseanne Wilce Pearcy and Dorothy Wilce Krause, along with many grandchildren, amongst whom are the nationally known sports and outdoors photographer Anne Krause and James M. "Jim" Wilce, Jr. a linguistic anthropologist at Northern Arizona University. Haber, Tom Burns. American Speech 30:235-237. Park, Jack. L. C. ISBN 1-58261-006-1 John Wilce at the College Football Hall of Fame
Robert Carl Zuppke was an American football coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign from 1913 until 1941, compiling a career college football record of 131–81–12. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, Zuppke coached his teams to national titles in 1914, 1919, 1923, 1927. Zuppke's teams won seven Big Ten Conference championships. While at the University of Illinois, Zuppke was a member of the Alpha-Gamma Chapter of Kappa Sigma. Among the players Zuppke coached at Illinois was Red Grange, the era's most celebrated college football player; the field at the University of Illinois's Memorial Stadium is named Zuppke Field in his honor. Zuppke is credited for many football inventions and traditions, including the huddle and the flea flicker. In 1914, he reintroduced the I formation. Prior to coaching at the University of Illinois, Zuppke coached at Muskegon High School in Muskegon and Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, where he tutored future Pro Football Hall of Famer George Trafton, Olympic decathlete Harry Goelitz.
Zuppke led the team to state championships in 1911 and 1912. He had several coaching influences, he used. Zuppke was a writer and a fine art painter. From 1930 to 1948, Zuppke wrote the syndicated newspaper strip Ned Brant, drawn by Walt Depew. During the 1930s, Zuppke wrote syndicated sports-related columns; as a painter, Zuppke was known for his rugged Western landscapes. Zuppke was given to philosophical remarks, known as "Zuppkeisms." The seven best-known are as follows: Never let hope elude you. Zuppke saw no conflict between his interest in painting and football strategy as he believed, "Art and football are much alike", his work was displayed in several shows, including a one-man show at the Palmer House in Chicago in 1937. Zuppke was a member of the No-Jury Society of Artists in Chicago and an acquaintance of Ernest Hemingway. Images of Zuppke alongside some of his paintings can be found in the University of Illinois Archives. List of presidents of the American Football Coaches Association Brichford, Maynard.
Bob Zuppke: The Life and Football Legacy of the Illinois Coach. Robert Zuppke at the College Football Hall of Fame Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame bio Robert Zuppke at Find a Grave
1903 Michigan Wolverines football team
The 1903 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1903 college football season. The team's head football coach was Fielding H. Yost; the Wolverines played their home games at Regents Field. The 1903 team compiled a record of 11–0–1 and outscored opponents 565 to 6; the only points allowed came on a touchdown in a 6–6 tie with Minnesota. All eleven wins were shutouts; the 1903 Michigan team was the third of Yost's "Point-a-Minute" teams and has been recognized retrospectively as a co-national champion by the National Championship Foundation. The team captain was Curtis Redden, the high scorer was fullback Tom Hammond who scored 163 points. Halfback Willie Heston was the only member of the team selected as a first-team All-American, receiving the honor from both Walter Camp in Collier's Weekly and Caspar Whitney in Outing magazine. Before the start of the 1903 season, Michigan became involved in controversy over amateurism in college football. In April 1903, David Starr Jordan, the president of Stanford University, accused Michigan coach Fielding Yost of sinning against the spirit of amateur athletics.
Jordan's accusations focused on two players, George W. Gregory and Willie Heston, both of whom had come to Michigan from California with Coach Yost in 1901; the Detroit Free Press reported in early September 1903 that the two might opt not to return to the University of Michigan when classes resumed. A report issued by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in April 1903 advocated stricter regulation to protect the amateur nature of the games. Although the report contained only passing references to the University of Michigan, the Chicago Record-Herald devoted much of its coverage to attacks on amateurism at the University of Michigan; the Michigan Alumnus expressed concern that football posed a danger "to the minds and morals of the players and their fellow-students." It published an open letter to Coach Yost on the evils of recruiting in college football. The open letter advocated the adoption of a one-year residency rule requiring a year of satisfactory scholarship for all players on college teams.
Professor Albert Pattengill, chairman of Michigan's Board of Control of Athletics, defended Yost:"In justice to Mr. Yost it must be said that the greatest sin we can lay at his door is that for two seasons he has led Michigan's team to victory, he is a man of good personal habits, enthusiastic in his work. He exercises a wholesome influence over the young men under him.... We have made many inquiries, have not heard from any sources anything to give cause for uneasiness.... Although Michigan's football training camp had been held at Whitmore Lake, Yost moved the team's pre-season camp to the Epworth Hotel in Epworth Heights, a summer resort located three miles from Ludington, Michigan. Yost hoped. Training camp opened on September 14, 1903, was attended by 25 players and trainer Keene Fitzpatrick. While in Ludington, the Michigan players played a baseball game against the local team and attended a dance at the Stearns Hotel in downtown Ludington; the locals were surprised when the guests of honor left the dance at 10:05 pm, under orders from Keene Fitzpatrick.
The squad returned to Ann Arbor on September 26 and joined a separate body of recruits training under the direction of assistant coach Dan McGugin. At the start of the 1903 season, there were concerns about the team's lack of experience. Most of the starters from the 1902 team had been lost, including the team's two leading scorers, its starting quarterback, four of the starting linemen. Adding to the problems, the 1902 team's starting fullback suffered a nearly deadly attack of typhoid fever in early 1903 and was unable to return to the team; the most promising new players on the 1903 squad included Joe Curtis, a 212-pounder from Pueblo, Tom Hammond, a fullback from Hyde Park and John Garrels, a speedster from Detroit who went on to win the silver medal in the 110 meter hurdles at the 1908 Summer Olympics. With only eight veterans returning team captain Curtis Redden wrote that "o season in the history of Michigan football has opened with a gloomier outlook" than that of 1903; the Michigan Alumnus opined that a repetition of the extraordinary scores of 1902 was too much to expect, but expressed hope that the 1903 team would be able to "cope honorably" with its "most dreaded rivals," Chicago and Minnesota.
The season opener was played on October 3, 1903, in weather, described as "excessively warm for football." The game was matched Michigan against Case Scientific School. Willie Heston scored three touchdowns in the game, including one on a 45-yard run. Tom Hammond scored two touchdowns, Hal Weeks scored after substituting for Heston at left halfback in the second half. Michigan converted only one of six point after touchdown attempts, the team's punting and goal-kicking were described as "sad failures." The second game of the 1903 season was played on October 8, against Albion College. In a game that consisted of 27-1/2 minutes, Michigan scored 76 points; the Wolverines failed to score on only one drive, were stopped inside Albion's five-yard line on that drive. Albion converted only two first downs in the game. Tom Hammond led the scoring with 35 points on five touchdowns and 10 successful point after touchdown kicks. Willie Heston added three touchdowns, single touchdowns were added by Herb Graver, Roswell Wendell, Fred Norcross, a