Michigan’s football season opens up tomorrow against a team that shall not be named (in a game that should never have been scheduled) and having highlighted other coaching icons before it seems appropriate to wind back the clock a century and look at one of the first Michigan coaching greats, Fielding Yost. Yost led Michigan’s football team from 1901 to 1923 (and a few years here and there after) and oversaw one of the most dominant era’s of college sports. Yost’s teams did not lose a game from 1901 to 1904 en route to 4 national titles. These teams were referred to as ‘point a minute’, since in 1901 they outscored opponents 550-0, and in five seasons they scored almost 3,000 points while giving up fewer than 50.
Michigan has long held the record for most all time college football wins and while this has taken decades of consistency to maintain, they certainly got off to a great start with Yost. After coaching Yost because the athletic director and spearheaded the construction of Michigan Stadium. He battled with administrators who felt that athletics had no place at a university and as a result independently financed the stadium with donations and selling bonds. There is a pretty interesting book that combed through the university archives to piece together the entire story. Yost’s vision for Michigan created a strong foundation on which over the next several decades a succession of coaches and ADs (like Don Canham) would build upon to create one of the country’s most successful athletic programs (so try not to alienate too many people, Dave).