Today’s post celebrates the memory of a Michigan Man named Ernie Vick who went to rest in peace on this day in 1980 at eighty years of age. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Henry Arthur “Ernie” Vick was born on July 2, 1900 at Toledo, Ohio. He grew up in Toledo and attended Toledo Scott High School. He was an excellent high school athlete who starred in football and baseball at Scott High School.
Ernie Vick arrived in Ann Arbor in 1918. He was able to play as a freshman because of the “Student’s Army Training Corps” wartime eligibility rules that were in effect during 1918. Vick started four games and played a lot of football as a freshman center. Ernie Vick earned his first letter in 1918 and he also was named to the Western Conference’s All-Freshman team. Michigan finished the shortened season (flu epidemic and war travel restrictions) with a perfect record of 5-0-0. The Wolverines won the Western Conference Championship and the National Championship in Ernie Vick’s first season.
Vick returned in 1919, but Michigan needed a running back. So, Ernie played fullback for Mr. Yost and had an excellent season. The only problem in 1919 was that Michigan wasn’t very good. The Wolverines finished the season with a final record of 3 wins and 4 losses. It would be the worst season in Yost’s Michigan career.
The talented, and versatile, Ernie Vick returned to the center position in 1920. He also played that position in 1921. Vick’s steady play on offense and defense helped Michigan improve their performance on the football field. The Wolverines won 5 games and lost 2 in 1920. They posted a final record of 5-1-1 in 1921. Ernie Vick was named a first team All-American at center at the end of the 1921 season.
Ernie Vick had an outstanding football career at Michigan. Here are some interesting firsts that connect Ernie Vick and Wolverine Football:
· Ernie Vick played on the first, and only, Western Conference/Big Ten team to win at least one conference championship in the first three decades of conference play in 1918.
· Vick played on the first, and only, Fielding Yost team to end the season with a losing record (3-4-0) in 1919.
· Ernie Vick played in the first game ever against Tulane in Ann Arbor on October 30, 1920. Michigan won by the score of 21-0.
· Vick played in the first ever Homecoming game against Ohio State in 1921. Maize and Blue fans and alumni went home with a frown after a 0-14 defeat at the hands of the Buckeyes!
· Ernie Vick played in the first ever tie game against Wisconsin (7-7) on November 12, 1921.
Please take a moment to remember another “True/Blue Michigan Man” named Ernie Vick. He played a lot of good football for Michigan. Vick lettered on four Fielding Yost teams and finished his career as a champion! He enjoyed a very successful life after his playing days and served his alma mater very well for his entire adult life! Thanks for men like Ernie Vick. May he always rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!