Herbert Orin (Fritz) Crisler
3x National Champion
College Football Hall of Fame
U of M Athletic Hall of Honor
Herbert Orin “Fritz” Crisler
University of Michigan Football Coach (1938 – 1947)
University of Michigan Athletic Director (1941 – 1968)
Fritz Crisler was born in Earlville, Illinois and was an outstanding student and football player at Mendota High School. He enrolled at the University of Chicago where he played football, baseball and basketball for three years earning a total of nine varsity letters. As a senior, Crisler earned All-American honors and was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor. Crisler went on to coach multiple sports at both Minnesota and Princeton for several years before becoming the head coach at the University of Michigan in 1938. He coached the Wolverines for ten years compiling a record of 71 – 16 – 3 winning a National Championship with his undefeated 1947 squad that has been selected as Michigan’s greatest ever. He is credited with many innovations during his coaching tenure; such as two platoon football, player specialization and the winged helmet design. Crisler was also the Athletic Director from 1941 – 1968, a period that brought nearly 20 National Championships over the breadth of Wolverine sports. Fritz Crisler was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954, the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor in 1979 and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1960. He passed away on August 19, 1982 at 83 years of age.