Today is a great day to honor the memory of a Wolverine named Paul Jones who went to rest in peace on this day in 1965. Jones was eighty-four years old at the time of his death. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Paul J. Jones was born on November 4, 1880 in Youngstown, Ohio. However, he is another Buckeye who saw the light. Jones came to Ann Arbor to study law and play football for a young coach named Fieldling H. Yost.
Paul Jones arrived in Ann Arbor in 1901. He was a reserve on the 1901 Michigan Football team. Paul did not start any games that season and did not earn a letter from Mr. Yost. Michigan had a great season in year one of the Fielding Yost Era. The Wolverines won every game on their schedule and finished the season with perfect records of (11-0-0 overall) and (4-0-0 conference). Even more amazing – they outscored their opponents by a margin of 550-0! Those numbers are almost unbelievable, but that’s what happened!
Fielding Yost’s second season at Michigan was a lot like the first. The 1902 team finished with another perfect slate. In fact, the results were exactly the same (11-0-0 and 4-0-0) except for the scoring margins. Michigan outscored their opponents by a margin of 644 to 12. Yes, the Wolverine defense slipped a little bit from 1901, but they were still pretty good!
Paul Jones played a lot of good football in 1902. He started seven games at fullback and scored 10 touchdowns for Yost’s “Point-a-Minute” football machine. Jones ran, blocked, tackled and probably did whatever else his young coach asked him to do. He played well enough, and often enough, to earn his first varsity letter.
Jones was expected to continue his excellent play in 1903, but he contracted typhoid fever and had to take the year off to recover. After he returned to good health, Jones came back to Michigan and was able to graduate with his law degree in 1904.
Paul Jones is connected to some important Michigan Football “firsts.” Here they are:
- Paul Jones was a member of Fielding Yost’s first Michigan team in 1901.
- Jones was a member of the first Michigan team to score 550 points in a season (550-0).
- Paul Jones was a member of the first Michigan football team to win eleven games in 1901.
- Jones was a member of Michigan’s first national championship team in 1901.
- Paul Jones played on the first Michigan team to score over 100 points in two games in the same season (Michigan Agricultural 119-0 and Iowa 109-0) in 1902. (He scored touchdowns in both games)
- He played on the first, and only, team in Michigan football history to score over 600 points in one season (644-12).
Paul Jones was a member of two of Michigan’s greatest football teams. After graduation, he did some coaching and then started a law practice in Ohio. In 1923, Paul Jones was appointed as a circuit judge. So, today is a very good day to appreciate the contributions of men like Paul J. Jones to Michigan Football. May he continue to rest in peace. Go Blue!