Today’s post celebrates the Happy Birthday Anniversary of an outstanding Michigan Man ̶ Harry Allis. Harry Dean Allis was born on this date in 1928. Allis was raised in Flint, Michigan where he became an excellent football player. He opted to continue his education and his football at the University of Michigan in 1947.
Like everyone else in the 1940s, Harry Allis played on the Michigan freshman football team to learn Fritz Crisler’s Single Wing Offense and other important things about Michigan Football. Apparently, he learned his lessons well.
Harry Allis became a solid contributor on Michigan’s national championship team in 1948. He started one game at halfback and also played end on offense and defense. Allis also handled the bulk of Michigan’s punting and placekicking duties in 1948. He led the team and the Big Ten in scoring in 1948 with 47 points (three touchdowns and 29 extra points). Michigan had perfect records of 9-0-0 overall and 6-0-0 in the Big Ten which also earned them the conference championship. It was a very good year for Harry Allis and the Michigan Wolverines.
Allis continued his steady play in 1949. He started nine games that season and continued to play well offense, defense and special teams. The highlight of the 1949 season was probably his career-long touchdown catch (51-yards) that helped defeat Illinois (13-0). The Wolverines finished another excellent year in 1949 with a final record of 6 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie. They also tied for a share of the Big Ten Championship with a record of 4-1-1.
As a senior in 1950, Harry Allis was on the field a lot in 1950. He started nine more games and continued to be an “iron man” who played on offense, defense and special teams. Allis accomplished a feat that few Michigan Men can claim during the 1950 season. Harry Allis scored touchdowns on a pass-reception, an interception return and a punt return in the same season. He also played in the “Snow Bowl” against the Buckeyes in the final game of the season. He kicked the only point-after-touchdown of the game which helped Michigan defeat OSU by a score of 9-3. Michigan ended the 1950 season with a final record of 6-3-1. More importantly, they finished with a record of 4-1-1 in the conference and won the Big Ten Title and a chance to play in the 1951 Rose Bowl. Michigan defeated California in that memorable game by a score of 14-6.
Of course, Harry Allis would not be the subject of today’s blog if he wasn’t associated with a Michigan football “firsts.” I only found five, so, here they are:
- Harry Allis was a member of Bennie Oosterbaan’s first team and his first, and only, National Championship team in 1948.
- Allis played in the first game ever against Oregon in 1948 and was also on Bennie Oosterbaan’s first Big Ten championship team in 1948.
- Harry Allis played in the first game that saw the Wolverines wear white road jerseys against Northwestern in 1949.
- Allis was the first receiver in Michigan Football History to catch 23-passes in one season in 1949.
- Harry Allis played in the first game ever against Dartmouth in 1950.
- Allis also played on the first, and only, Big Ten team to win at least one conference championship in every decade of Big Ten football competition from 1896 to 1950.
As you just learned, Harry Allis had a wonderful career at Michigan. Not many Michigan Men enjoyed playing on three conference champions and one national championship team. Harry Allis went on to earn a medical degree from Michigan and enjoyed a long and successful life. Sadly, Dr. Harry Allis died on September 6, 2006 at the age of seventy-eight. May Harry Allis continue to rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!