Today is a good day to remember another Michigan Wolverine named Bob Nussbaumer who went to rest in peace on this day in 1997 at the age of seventy-three. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Robert John Nussbaumer was born on April 23, 1924 at Oak Park, Illinois. After high school, Nussbaumer made it to Ann Arbor where he planned to continue his education and play some football for the Michigan Wolverines.
Bob Nussbaumer’s name first showed up on the 1942 Michigan Football Roster. He is listed as a freshman from Oak Park, Illinois. He didn’t have a number or a position listed after his name. Obviously, he played on the freshman team and worked hard to learn Fritz Crisler’s football system.
Nussbaumer made the varsity in 1943 and he started 2 games at left halfback. He earned his first letter and helped give Coach Fritz Crisler his first Big Ten Championship. The Wolverines ended the year with a record of 8-1-0 with the only loss coming at the hands of #1 Notre Dame. Michigan finished in a first-place tie in the Big Ten with a record of 6-0-0.
Bob Nussbaumer returned for the 1944 season and started 7 games at right halfback. The Wolverines had a good season and finished with a record of 8 wins and 2 losses. They ended the Big Ten season in second place with a final record of 5-1-0.
With war raging on in Europe and the Pacific, Bob Nussbaumer returned for his senior season in 1945. For the second straight season, he started 7 games for the Wolverines and earned his third varsity letter. The Wolverines had a good season and finished with a record of 7 wins and 3 losses. They ended the Big Ten season in second place with a final record of 5-1-0.
Like so many men of his generation, Nussbaumer served in the military durng World War II. He entered the United States Marine Corps in late 1945 and served until the war was over. Bob was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the spring of 1946 and played one season with the Pack. He also played for the Washington Redskins and the Chicago Cardinals. Nussbaumer finished his NFL playing career in 1951. Bob coached in the NFL from 1957 to 1971.
Bob Nussbaumer is connected to some interesting Michigan Football Firsts. Here they are:
· Bob Nussbaumer played in the first, and only, game against Camp Grant in 1943.
· Nussbaumer played in the first game that a Michigan ever played a number one ranked opponent (Notre Dame) in 1943.
· Bob Nussbaumer played on Fritz Crisler’s first Big Ten Championship team in 1943.
· Nussbaumer played in the first night game in Michigan Football history in 1944 against Marquette.
· Bob Nussbaumer played in the first ever game against Army in 1945.
So, on the twentieth anniversary of his passing, please take a moment to appreciate the contributions of Bob Nussbaumer. He played on some very good Michigan football teams. In fact, the Wolverines posted a record of 23 wins and 6 losses when he played. Michigan also won a Big Ten Championship during his playing years. All I can say is, “Thank You” for Wolverines like Bob Nussbaumer. May he always rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!