March 20, 2017 Happy Birthday Anniversary Raynour Freund!

Michiigan Football Team 1895 |
Raynour Freund’s last team was the 1895 Michgian Football team. Even though he is listed as a letterman, he is not shown in the team photo for some unknown reason. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Today is good day to send out Happy Birthday wishes for a Wolverine named Raynour Freund. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Raynour Spaulding Freund was born on this day in 1872. So, he is a bonafide “Pigskin Pioneer” who helped push Michigan football to new heights before the turn of the century.

Raynour Freund played four years of football at Michigan from 1892 to 1895. The rosters for those years list him as a Halfback/sub who was 5’ 6 and ½ inches tall and weighed in from 134 to 142 pounds, depending on the year. His hometown is listed as Reserve, Montana.       

Unlike many players who was listed as a “sub” Freund earned letters in all four years that he played. He may not have been a “starter,” but he must have played a little to earn those letters. Of course, there isn’t a lot of information available on his on the field statistics and accomplishments at Michigan. However, if you look at the teams he played on, there is plenty to celebrate.

WIlliam McCauley 1895 |

William McCauley coached Raynour Freund and the rest of the Michigan Wolverines in 1895. The team finished with an excellent record of 8 wins and only 1 loss. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Freund played on four of the winningest teams in the early years of Michigan Football. The 1892 team was the first team to win seven games in one season. The 1894 team did even better by posting record of 9 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie. When he left Michigan, Freund’s teams had produced a record of 31 wins, 10 losses and 1 tie. It was the winningest four year run in Michigan’s fifteen-year football history!

There were a lot of Michigan Football “firsts” in those four years. Here are some of the best ones that connect Raynour Freund to Wolverine football history:

·         Played on the first team of the Frank Barbour Era in Ann Arbor in 1892.

·         Played on the first Michigan team to win by a margin of 74 points with a 74-0 victory over the Michigan Athletic Association (MAA) on October 8, 1892.

·         Played on the first Michigan football team to score over 200 points in one season (298) in 1892.

·         Member of the 1892 team that was the first Michigan team to play the following teams: Chicago, DePauw, Michigan Athletic Association, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin.

·         Member of the 1893 team that was the first Michigan team to play games at “The Athletic Field.”

·         Played on the first team of the William McCauley Era in Ann Arbor in 1894.

·         Played on the first 9-win team in 1894 (9-1-1).

So, today is a good day to honor the memory of a Michigan Man and appreciate his contributions to Michigan football. Raynour Freund was definitely a “Pigskin Pioneer” in the days when Michigan football really started to become a powerhouse team in the Midwest. Now, one hundred-thirty-seven years later, Michigan Wolverine football is still going STRONG! Thank you Raynour S. Freund  for your contributions to the great history of Michigan football. May you always rest in peace. Go Blue!


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: You can also follow him on Social Media.
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