March 5, 2018 Rest in Peace Pigskin Pioneer Frank Decke!

1892 Michigan Football Team |
Pigskin Pioneer Frank Decke is shown above with the 1892 Michigan Football team. He is seated in the front row – first man on the left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Today is good day to remember Pigskin Pioneer Frank Decke who continues to rest in peace. Frank Decke died on this day in Chicago, Illinois in 1899 at twenty-eight years of age.

Part I. Wolverine of the Day – Pigskin Pioneer Frank Decke

According to the rosters I checked, Frank Decke played one year of football at Michigan in 1892. He is listed on the 1892 roster as a tackle who weighed in at 170 pounds. His hometown is listed as Lansing, Michigan

Decke was one of the two starting tackles (along with Willard W. Griffin) for the 1892 Wolverine football team. He played in every game and earned a letter at the end of the season. This was the first season of the Frank Barbour Era in Ann Arbor. Although Barbour only coached for two seasons at Michigan, his impact was significant.

Frank Decke and his teammates on the 1892 team had a successful season for Frank Barbour. The Wolverines finished with a record of 7 wins and 5 losses. Both numbers were the “most” in the history of Michigan Football. No Wolverine team had ever won more than four games in one season prior to 1892. Also, the most losses that Michigan ever had prior to 1892 was five (in 1891). So, 1892 was a “record breaking” year with lots of firsts. First Michigan football team to lose 5 games in consecutive seasons since they also lost 5 games in 1891.

Frank Barbour Michigan Football 1892 |

Thanks to men like Frank Decke, Coach Frank Barbour set a record for season wins in one season in 1892. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

So, today is a good day to honor the memory of a Michigan Man and appreciate his contributions to Michigan Football. Although he had a short career, Pigskin Pioneer Frank Decke was part of a very special team in Michigan Football history. They played more games in one season than any other Michigan team in history. They went on a brutal five game road trip to play the best teams in the Midwest instead of playing against some of the weaker teams that they had dominated in the past.

Frank Decke 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-eight years later, Michigan Wolverine Football is still going STRONG! Thanks to men like Pigskin Pioneer Frank Decke for their contributions to the great history of Michigan Football. May Pigskin Pioneer Frank Decke continue to rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!

Part II. Trivia Question of the Day – March 4, 2018

Which Wolverine holds the record for most points scored in a career?

Part II. Trivia Answer of the Day – March 4, 2018 – Garrett Rivas

Placekicker Garrett Rivas set Michigan’s career scoring record from 2003 to 2006 when he booted 354 points! Anthony Thomas held the Wolverine scoring from 1997 until 2000 with 336 points.

Part III. Trivia Question of the Day – March 5, 2018

When did Michigan leave the Western Conference in a dispute over eligibility, ticket prices and other issues?

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.
0 Comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.