Today is a great day to honor the memory of a Wolverine named Albert E. Herrnstein who went to rest in peace on this day in 1958. Al Herrnstein was seventy-five years old at the time of his death. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Albert Ernest Herrnstein was born on August 15, 1882 at Chillicothe, Ohio. He grew up in Ohio, but he saw the light and came to Michigan to continue his education and play football for the Michigan Wolverines.
Albert E. Herrnstein arrived in Ann Arbor in 1899. He was listed as a “substitute” on the Gustave Ferbert’s last Michigan Football Team in 1899. Al did not earn a letter in his first season at Michigan. Although he started three games for Langdon “Bif” Lea in 1900, he didn’t earn a letter in year two either.
Herrnstein came back in 1901 to play for his third coach in three seasons. Fielding Harris Yost arrived in Ann Arbor and was eager to earn a name for himself. Al was eager to please his new coach. So, he demonstrated excellent versatility by starting games at halfback and end. Herrnstein made a total of seven starts in 1901 and helped the Wolverines win their first national championship with a perfect record of 11-0-0.
Al Herrnstein returned for his senior season in 1902. It would be another record-setting season for the Wolverines and for Herrnstein. Yost’s “Point-a-Minute” team dominated every opponent in 1902 and finished the season with another perfect record of 11 wins and 0 losses. They won a second consecutive national championship and Western Conference title. It was the most dominant two-year run of football ever!
Herrnstein earned his second varsity letter in 1902 with some outstanding games. He scored 7 touchdowns against Michigan Agricultural and 5 against Ohio State. Albert scored 26 for the season which was 11 more than Willie Heston scored in 1902. However, Heston is the one who earned All-Conference honors, not Herrnstein.
As good as he was, Albert E. Herrnstein would not be the subject of today’s post if he wasn’t associated with some Michigan important “football firsts.” Here are the best ones that I found:
- Albert E. Herrnstein was a member of the first, and only, team coached by Langdon “Bif” Lea in 1900.
- Herrnstein was a member of the first Fielding Yost team at Michigan in 1901.
- Al Herrnstein played on the first Michigan team to win eleven games in 1901 (11-0-0)
- Herrnstein played on the first Michigan team to win a national championship in 1901.
- Albert E. Herrnstein played in the first Rose Bowl game in January 1902. (Michigan defeated Stanford by a score of 49-0.)
- Herrnstein played on the first Michigan football team to score over 100 points in two games during the same season. (The Wolverines defeated Michigan Agricultural College 119-0 and Iowa 109-0).
- Al Herrnstein is the first, and only, Michigan football player to score seven touchdowns in one game. (He scored them against Michigan Agricultural College in 1902.)
- Herrnstein was the first, and only, man to score 26 touchdowns in one season in 1902.
- Albert E. Herrnstein played on the first, and only, Michigan football team to score over 600 points in one season when the Wolverines posted 644 in 1902.
- Herrnstein is the first and only Wolverine Football player to be the Head Coach at Ohio State. (He coached the Buckeyes from 1906 to 1909.)
So, today is a good day to remember a Michigan Football great named Albert E. Herrnstein. He was an exciting player who knew how to get into the end zone. Some of his scoring records have stood for 115 years! Please take a moment to appreciate his outstanding contributions to the great history of Michigan Football. May Albert E. Herrnstein continue to rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!