April 5, 2017 Happy Birthday Anniversary Bob Kolesar!

Michigan Football Team 1942 | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Bob Kolesar (#68) is pictured above with the 1942 Michigan Football Team. He is the third man from the left in the first row. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Today is another great day to celebrate the Happy Birthday Anniversary of a Michigan Wolverine named Bob Kolesar. Robert C. “Bob” Kolesar was born on this day in Cleveland, Ohio. He is another Buckeye who saw the light and came to Ann Arbor to play football and study medicine at Michigan.

Bob Kolesar came to play football for Michigan and Fritz Crisler in 1939. He spent his freshman year  learning the Michigan system and he learned his lessons well. He started three games at guard in 1940 and played well enough to earn his first varsity letter at the end of the season. Michigan posted a record of 7-1-0 in 1940 and won 3 games and lost 1 in the Big Ten.

Bob Kolesar Michigan Football 1942 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Guard Bob Kolesar was a 60-minute player who became one of Michigan’s “Seven Oak Posts” in 1942. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Kolesar made things easy on Coach Fritz Crisler during his last two seasons. Crisler just penciled the hard-charging Kolesar into the starting lineup for every game so that he could focus on other matters. Bob Kolesar was not flashy, but he was very good at knocking people down on offense and tackling them on defense. He started 18 straight games during his final two season for the Wolverines. Michigan posted a record of 20 wins 5 loses and 1 tie when Bob Kolesar played for Michigan which means that the Maize and Blue footballers won just under seventy-nine percent of their games (.788). Michigan also did well in Big Ten play during the Kolesar Years, but not as well as he probably would have liked. The Wolverines posted a record of 9-4-1 in conference play for a winning rate of just over sixty-seven percent (.678).

Bob Kolesar became famous in Michigan Football lore when a writer tagged him and his fellow lineman as the “Seven Oak Posts.” All seven men who played on the line in 1942 were 60-minute players. They were as solid and sturdy as oak posts and they hit just as hard! They were on the field for the opening kickoff and stayed there until the end of the game. Of course, that doesn’t happen in college football anymore! Here are names of the famous lineman: Center-Merv Pregulman, Right Guard-Julius Franks, Left Guard-Bob Kolesar, Left End-Elmer Madar, Right End-Phil Sharp, Right Tackle-Bill Pritula, and Left Tackle-Albert Wistert.

In addition to being a “famous” lineman, Bob Kolesar is also connected to a number of Michigan Football “firsts.” Here are the best ones that I could find:

  • Bob Kolesar was one of the first college football players to fly cross-country for Michigan’s first football game ever against California in September 1940. Michigan won by a score of 41-0 on Tom Harmon’s twenty-first birthday!
  • Kolesar played in the first game ever against Pittsburgh in 1941. Michigan won that one by a score of 40-0.
  • Bob Kolesar played in the first games ever against Great Lakes Naval Training Center (Won 9-0) and Iowa Pre-Flight (Lost 14-26) in 1942.
  • Kolesar played on the first Michigan line to earn a nickname – the Seven Oak Posts!

Please enjoy your Wednesday Wolverine fans and take time to remember a true Wolverine legend. Dr. Robert C. Kolesar practiced medicine in Michigan for many years. He lived a long and fruitful life. Kolesar left his family, friends and admirers on January 13, 2004 at the age of eighty-two. Let’s celebrate his life again on the ninety-seventh anniversary of his birth. May Dr. Bob Kolesar always rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kolesar

http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1942fbt.htm

 

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 137 year history of Wolverine Football. He is on a mission to share his findings with Maize and Blue football fans everywhere. He is the author of one book about Michigan Football titled "21-194-13 Michigan Football's Greatest Era". You can learn something about Michigan Football everyday by going to his website at: bigbluefootballhistory.com. You can also follow him on Social Media.
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