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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Today, April 30th, marks the 140th birthday of me, your humble blogger, Fielding H. Yost.  But as you can see by my picture, I don't look a day over...whatever age I am in this photo.

As you probably know, I was born in Fairview, West Virginia and actually went to college in Ohio at what was then called Ohio Normal (now Northern) University (although we all know there is nothing normal about Ohio).  I later enrolled at West Virginia where I played tackle and never, ever sang nor listened to Josh Groban.

But my life really began in 1901 when I was hired as Michigan's head coach.  I coached there until 1923, then again from 1925-1926.  While in A2, I went 165-29-10, a winning percentage of .833, and won 6 national titles with nary a free tattoo given to any of my players.

After my coaching days were over, I stayed on at Michigan as AD until 1940. 

Besides my kick-ass record, I invented the position of linebacker, co-created the first ever bowl game, the 1902 Rose Bowl, with then legendary UM athletic director Charles Baird, invented the fieldhouse concept that bears my name, and supervised the building of the first on-campus building dedicated to intramural sports so that frat guys could have a place to feel like athletes before going back to their houses and puking all weekend.


I also started the tradition of U-M coaches screwing over West Virginia.  According to Wikipedia:
In October 1896, after his team lost three times to Lafayette in home games played on three different fields over the course of three days, Yost became a remarkable personification of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." He transferred in mid-season to join Coach Parke H. Davis' national championship team at Lafayette. Just a week after playing against Davis in West Virginia, Yost was playing for Davis in Lafayette's historic 6–4 win over the Penn Quakers.

The fortuitous timing of Yost's appearance on the Lafayette roster did not go unnoticed by Penn officials. They called it "the Yost affair." The Philadelphia Ledger quoted Yost as saying that he came to Lafayette only to play football. The fact that Yost appeared in a Lafayette uniform only once, in the Penn game, and that he returned to West Virginia within two weeks of the contest did not help appearances. He assured all concerned that he would return to Lafayette for at least three years of study.  But 1897 found him no longer a student or a player, but a coach.

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