Today is a great day to remember a Wolverine named Lawrence Grosh on the one-hundred and forty-seventh anniversary of his birth. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Lawrence Chamberlain Grosh was born on this day in 1870 at Goshen, Indiana. He definitely qualifies as a Michigan “Pigskin Pioneer” in my book!
Lawrence Grosh played on his first Michigan Football team in 1890. He is listed on the team roster as a halfback from Toledo, Ohio. He earned a letter on the last team tht was led by a “Captain.” William C. Malley led his Wolverine peers to a successful record of 4 wins and only 1 loss.
Grosh was back again in 1891, but things were a little bit different. Michigan hired a paid coach named Frank Crawford. Unfortunately, things did not work out too well for Mr. Crawford because he was gone after posting a record of 4 wins and 5 losses! The good news for Lawrence Grosh was that he earned his second varsity letter in 1891.
Lawrence Grosh came back to play in 1892 to play for a new coach named Frank Barbour. Grosh played a lot of football that season and earned his third varsity letter. Michigan played a really tough schedule in 1892 that had eight games away from Ann Arbor and only four games in the Tree City. They finished the season with a final record of 7 wins and 5 losses.
For the first time in his career, Lawrence Grosh came back to play for the same coach that he had in 1891. Frank Barbour was back for his second year. For whatever reason, Grosh did not play as much as he did in 1892. He wasn’t even included in the team photo for the season, but is listed as a leltter winner for the 1893 team. Michigan finished the 1893 football campaign with an excellent record of 7 wins and 3 losses.
So, Lawrence Grosh, and his teammates, from the Class of 1894, finished with a record of 22-14-0. It was the most wins for a Michigan Football class to date. Of course, the best was yet to come. However, Lawrence Grosh was around when the Wolverines raised the bar, and the expectations, for future Michigan Football teams.
Lawrence, Grosh played a lot of good football for Michigan and he also was part of some interesting Michigan football “firsts.”
- Lawrence Grosh played in the backfield with George Jewett, the first Afro-American, to play football at Michigan in 1890.
- Grosh played on the first Michigan Football Team to have a paid coach (Frank Crawford) in 1891.
- Lawrence Grosh played on the first Michigan football team to lose 5 games in one season (1891).
- Grosh played on the first Wolverine football team to win 7 games in 1892.
Please take a moment to remember Dr. Lawrence Grosh who passed away on July 6, 1944 at the age of seventy-three. Lawrence Grosh made important contributions to the great history of Michigan football. May he continue to rest in eternal peace! Go Blue!