Today’s post is an opportunity to celebrate a Happy Birthday Anniversary for a Michigan Wolverine named Howie Auer. Howard Joseph “Howie” Auer was born on this date in 1908 in Detroit, Michigan. He came to Ann Arbor in 1928 to play football for Coach Tad Wieman. Like a good freshman in the 1920s, Howie spent his first year on the freshman team. Unfortunately, when Auer was ready to play for Michigan’s varsity, Coach Wieman was gone.
Fieldilng Yost was a lot of things, but he was not very patient when it came to winning, losing and filling Michigan Stadium. Yost had one losing season in his twenty-five-year tenure. Wieman, a former Yost captain, had one winning season and one losing season in two years. Yost had seen enough! Fielding Yost looked north to East Lansing to find his next coach. Harry Kipke, another former Yost player, just finished his first year at Michigan State. He couldn’t say “No” to his former coach.
Sophomore Year for Howie Auer was his breakout year
Sophomore Howie Auer would have to impress new Coach Harry Kipke if he wanted to play at Michigan. Auer must have done some good things in fall practice because he started seven of nine games at tackle during the 1929 season. Michigan finished with a record of 5 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie. Unfortunately, they went 1-3-1 in the conference with was only good for an eighth-place tie. Howie Auer earned his first varsity letter in 1929, so, he was probably happy about that!
Howie Auer had some injuries in 1930 that limited his playing time. He still started four games (3 at left tackle and 1 at right tackle) for the undefeated Wolverines. Michigan finished the 1930 season with a record of 8 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie. Kipke’s footballers also won the conference title with a perfect record of 5-0-0. Howie Auer earned his second letter in 1930.
Harry Kipke’s Wolverines were favored to win the conference title in 1931 and that’s exactly what they did! Kipke had plenty of returning stars, including Howie Auer. Michigan posted a record of 8 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie. They tied for the conference title with a record of 5-1-0. In 1931, Howie Auer proved himself to be a strong contributor to a championship team. He started eight of nine games and earned his third varsity letter. The talented Auer also earned second-team All-Big Ten player honors form the United Press for his outstanding play.
Howie Auer Michigan Football Firsts
Howie Auer was definitely part of some good football teams at Michigan. He also experienced a number of “Michigan Football Firsts” while playing for the Wolverines:
- Played on the first three Harry Kipke teams (1929, 1930 and 1931)
- Played in the first Michigan football “doubleheader” on 9/28/1929
- Played in the first two games in Michigan Stadium history with over 85,000 fans (1929)
- Played on Harry Kipke’s first Big Ten Championship Team & the second one too!
- In his last game, played in front of the first, and only, 4 digit crowd (9,190) in Michigan Stadium History (1931). Yes, this is still the smallest crowd in the history of Michigan Stadium!
So, today is a great day to remember a tough, talented Michigan Wolverine named Howard Joseph Auer. He earned three varsity letters and contributed to two Big Ten Championship teams. Michigan posted a record of 21 wins, 4 losses and 3 ties with Howie Auer on the varsity roster. He was a “Michigan Man” in every sense of the word. Let’s remember him on the one-hundredth-ninth anniversary of his birth. Howard Auer died in 1985 at the age of 77. May he always rest in peace. Go Blue.