Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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M and Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor winner was inducted into the Academic AllAmerica Hall of Fame in New York. He was literally one of Michigan's most distinguished alumni. On his list of accomplishments — 10 years as chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, 1960-70 (minus two years in 1967-68, when he served as a White House Fellow in the Office of the Secretary of Defense); two more years in the White House (1971-72) working in the Office of Science and Technology with responsibility for energy, environment and natural resources; service on boards and advisory councils for Reliant Energy, Mobil Oil, World Bank, and other entities too numerous to mention; president and CEO of Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, Calif. from 1988-96; and much more. "Michigan deserves a lot of credit for all of it," Balzhiser told us in a 2002 article. "It started with [coach] Bennie Oosterbaan. My workload in college made it tough to keep up with things, but Bennie's philosophy was, 'You take care of those classes; we'll take care of everything else.' There were several days I'd get out late to practice, but he never said a word about it." Balzhiser passed away Dec. 23, 2012, in Menlo Park. Calif. Oosterbaan's commitment to Balzhiser continued through his playing days and beyond. After Balzhiser graduated at the top of his class in engineering in 1954, Oosterbaan hired him to coach fullbacks, while Balzhiser pursued his master's degree and Ph.D. from U-M. Balzhiser is a member of U-M's esteemed Hall of Honor as one of the all-time greats for his accomplishments both on and off the field. Pete Elliott (Lettered 1945-48) For Michigan legend Pete Elliott, a football All-American and basketball all-conference selection and scratch golfer who earned 12 varsity letters at Michigan in the three sports, it wasn't a coin flip that determined his fate, but the luck of the draw. Coming out of Naval Air Force V-5, then V-12 training at a small school near Kansas City, Elliott and his classmates were sent three separate ways to continue their training. One group, Elliott recalled, headed to Notre Dame. Another was sent to Evanston, Ill., and Northwestern, while the last group went to Michigan. If they'd been drawing straws, Elliott recalled, he wanted the one pointing to Ann Arbor — and he got it. The Bloomington, Ind., native played at U-M from 1945-48. Elliott passed away Jan. 4, 2013. "I couldn't have been happier," Elliott said back in September 2006. "It worked out as one of the great things that happened in my life. My wife had come from Ann Arbor and went to school there. Put all those things together, and you realize fate is an amazing thing." High School and 18 years at Grand Rapids Community College. He was inducted into the NJCAA Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame after leading the team to a 139-48-2 record. Julian passed away May 4, 2013, in Comstock Park, Mich. Julian played at Detroit's Pershing High School, where the Detroit Free Press awarded him All-City, All-State and AllAmerica honors. He was Michigan's leading rusher in 1959 — he gained a career-high 93 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown run, in a 14-6 victory over Minnesota and also scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard run in a 20-15 upset victory over Illinois that season. He capped his career with a win over Ohio State and the next year led the New York Titans (eventually renamed the Jets) with six interceptions in his 1960 rookie season while playing defensive back. Howard Wikel (Lettered 1943-47) Pete Elliott was a football All-American and a basketball all-conference selection as well as a scratch golfer who earned 12 varsity letters in the three sports at U-M. file photo In his first year at U-M, Elliott made an immediate impact in the Michigan backfield, rushing for 319 yards, passing for 393 and scoring four touchdowns. In every year since, from the 1940s forward, he added to his résumé as one of the school's finest representatives. After a long coaching career, he became the longest-tenured executive director in the Pro Football Hall of Fame's history. Elliott served as the museum's director from 1979-96 and continued as a member of the Hall's board of trustees in his retirement. He was 86 years old when he passed away in Canton, Ohio, surrounded by family. Fred Julian (Lettered 1957-59) Fred Julian took the lessons he learned from head coaches Bennie Oosterbaan and Bump Elliott and parlayed them into a long coaching career of his own. He coached 16 years at Grand Rapids (Mich.) West Catholic "God Bless Howard Wikel." That's how the annual Bob Ufer Memorial Classic usually concluded no matter who was emcee — and that's how much people thought of the former letter winner. Wikel was a best friend to Michigan athletics, and many viewed him as one of their own. "Anyone from Ann Arbor who says they don't know Howard Wikel must be living in a cave," legendary head coach Bo Schembechler once said. Wikel passed away March 10, 2013, at 89. "They ought to name an award after Howard," Jim Conley, captain of the 1965 Rose Bowl team, said in remembering Wikel. "That's how much he meant to all of us." Wikel played football under head coach Fritz Crisler and baseball under head coach Ray Fisher. He once joked about his biggest play, which occurred on his 20th birthday in 1943 against Wisconsin in Ann Arbor. "In the second half, my number was called to carry the ball," he said. "[Teammate] Don Lund said it was only a three- or four- or five-yard run. But the older I get, the longer that run was." Wikel turned down professional baseball overtures to remain in Ann Arbor and became one of the most successful amateur golfers in the state, notching eight holes-inone. He was the driving force behind Schembechler's charity golf tournament, the Millie Schembechler Memorial Golf Classic, to raise funds for adrenal cancer research. He also served on the board of directors for the University of Michigan Alumni Association and Michigamua and was a founding member of Michigan's Victors Club. Wikel graduated from the University of Michigan School of Pharmacy in 1952. ❏ The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview  ■ 33

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