Today’s post celebrates a Happy Birthday wish for a Wolverine named Jack Clancy. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Jack David Clancy was born on this day in Humboldt, Iowa. The Clancy family moved around, but Jack was in Detroit, Michigan when it was time for high school. He attended Detroit Redford High School where he became an outstanding athlete. He accepted a scholarship to play football for Bump Elliott and the Michigan Wolverines in 1962.
Jack Clancy is listed on the 1962 Michigan Football Roster as a quarterback. He didn’t play as a freshman because nobody played as a freshman in the Sixties. Jack spent his first year learning the Bump Elliott football system and working hard in the classroom.
Clancy made the varsity in 1963. He didn’t start any games, but he played enough to earn a letter in his first year on the Michigan varsity football team. The hard-running Clancy logged 34 carries for 109 net yards. He also caught 4 passes for 78 more yards. His first Wolverine score came on a 33-yard touchdown reception against Northwestern in a 27-6 win on Homecoming Day. Although Clancy had a pretty good season in 1963, the Wolverines did not! Michigan was supposed to content for the Big Ten Championship in 1963, but injuries and bad luck left them with a final record of 3 wins 4 losses and 2 ties.
The 1964 season was the one that Bump Elliott, and Michigan fans, had been waiting for since 1950. Jack Clancy was also excited because he earned one of the starting halfback jobs to start the season. Unfortunately, he injured his back early in the season and was unable to return. He was out for the remainder of Michigan’s championship season. What a tough break!
A healthy Jack Clancy returned to the Michigan team with a new position in 1965. Coach Elliott thought that a switch to end would be good for Clancy and he was right! Jack Clancy had a break-out season in 1965. Although he only started seven games, Jack became the first man in Michigan football history to total 50 receptions. He finished the season with 52 catches for 762-yards. He averaged 14.7 yards per catch and scored five touchdowns.
Once again, Clancy’s on the field play was not enough to push Michigan to another winning season. The Wolverines finished the 1965 season with a record of 4 wins and 6 losses. They posted 2 victories and 5 defeats in conference play and ended up in a tie for seventh place. The record-setting Clancy earned his second varsity letter for Michigan in 1965. At the end of the season, he learned that he would become the team captain for his senior year in 1966.
The 1966 season turned out great for Jack Clancy and better for Michigan, but it was not a championship campaign. The Wolverines won 6 and lost 4. They finished with a record of 4-3-0 in the conference which tied them for third place. Clancy continued to star as a receiver and set more records in his final season. Jack Clancy became the first Michigan receiver to catch 76 passes in one season and gain over one-thousand yards (1,079) in a ten-game season.
Jack Clancy had an outstanding career at Michigan. He earned second team All-Conference recognition in 1965. Then, he became a first team All-Conference selection in 1966 and a consensus All-American in 1966. He was one of few Michigan men to be a captain and a team MVP in the same year. Here are some “firsts” that connect Jack Clancy to Michigan football:
- Jack Clancy was the first Michigan receiver to record 52 catches and total 762-yards in one season in 1965.
- Clancy improved on his numbers in 1966 and became the first Wolverine to catch 76 passes and break the 1,000-yard barrier in one season. He finished with 1,079 yards.
- Jack Clancy was the first Big Ten player to record 50 catches in one seven-game conference season in 1966.
- Clancy was the first Michigan receiver to gain 197-yards in one game in 1966 against Oregon State. UM won 41-0.
- Jack Clancy was the first Michigan pass catcher to record four 100-yard receiving games in a career.
So, today is a good day to appreciate the accomplishments of Jack Clancy and celebrate his contributions to Michigan Football history. He went on to a short career in professional football in the AFL and the NFL. Congratulations Jack Clancy on an outstanding Michigan football career and thank you for your contributions to the great history of Michigan Football. I hope you have a very happy birthday on your special day! Go Blue!
One last thing! Happy Father’s Day to every dad and grandpa who may read this post!