February 14, 2018 Happy Birthday Anniversary Frank G. Allen

1880 Michgian Football Team | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Frank G. Allen is shown above with the 1880 Michigan Football team. He is seated in the middle row – second man from the right. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Today’s post is an opportunity to remember Frank G. Allen on his Happy Birthday Anniversary. Frank Gates Allen was born on this date in 1858 in Illinois. So, that makes him another one of my favorite Michigan Wolverine “Pigskin Pioneers.”

Part I. Wolverine of the Day – Frank G. Allen

Frank G. Allen grew up in Aurora, Illinois. He arrived at The University of Michigan in 1878, just in time to play on the first football team in Michigan athletic history. Allen’s name shows up on the first two Michigan Football rosters in 1879 and 1880. He is listed as a “forward” and was a letter winner for both teams even though he is not pictured with the 1879 team.

Apparently, Frank Allen did not play in the first game in Michigan Football history against Racine College in May 1879. He was listed a starter against Toronto in November. That game ended in a scoreless tie.

Frank G. Allen came back to play on the 1880 team which only played one game. Once again, it was against Toronto and Michigan won the game by a score of 13-6.

Mr. Allen is “famous” for a number of things in Michigan Football History. Check them out:

  • He was the first man from Illinois ever to play football at Michigan (November 1879).
  • Frank Allen was the first Michigan Wolverine football player to be born on Valentine’s Day (1858)!
  • Allen was one of the first six men to play two seasons of football at Michigan (1879 and 1880.
  • He played in the first Michigan football game in a foreign country (Canada) in November 1880.

So, today is a good day to honor the memory of a Michigan Man and appreciate his contributions to Michigan football. Frank G. Allen was a proud member of Team #1. Yes, he was a true “pigskin pioneer.” Allen helped get Michigan football established in Ann Arbor and now, one-hundred and thirty-eight years later, it is still going STRONG!

Frank G. Allen went on to a successful business career that you can read about in the Wikipedia article below. Allen died on August 30, 1940 at the age of eighty-two. So, on the one-hundred sixtieth anniversary of his birth, let us remember the contributions of Frank G. Allen to Michigan Football. May he always rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1879_Michigan_Wolverines_football_team

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1880_Michigan_Wolverines_football_team

Part II. Trivia Question of the Day – February 13, 2018

Which Wolverine placekicker holds the record for the longest field goal in Michigan Stadium?

Part II. Trivia Question Answer for February 13, 2018 – Mike Gillette

Mike Gillette kicked a 53-yard field goal in the Big House against the Iowa Hawkeyes on October 18, 1986. It was the game winner as Michigan defeated Iowa by the score of 20-17.

Mike Gillette Michigan Football 1986 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Mike Gillette kicked a game-winning 53-field goal in 1986 to beat Iowa. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

This was a key win for the Wolverines. It helped them win a share of the Big Ten Championship for the first time since 1982. The 1983 to 1985 was the longest championship “drought” in Bo’s stellar career. Of course, it’s been awhile (2004) since Michigan has won a Big Ten Championship. Hopefully, that “drought” will end sooner than later! Go Blue!

Part III. Trivia Question of the Day – February 14, 2018

Who was Bo’s first All-American offensive lineman?  

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 138-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". His second book titled, "The Legend of Bo Schembechler-How an Unknown Buckeye Became the Winningest Coach in Michigan Football History" was released on September 12, 2017. 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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