Today is the Happy Birthday anniversary of a Don Lund. Donald Andrew “Don” Lund was born on this date in 1923 in Detroit, Michigan. He was an all-around athlete at Detroit Southeastern High School. Lund earned varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball. He planned on duplicating that feat at The University of Michigan and that’s exactly what he did!
Don Lund arrived on campus in the Fall of 1941. It was the fourth year of the Fritz Crisler Era and Michigan football was back on the rise. Lund spent a year on the freshman team learning the Michigan football system, which is what everybody did in those days.
Sophomore Don Lund made one start at fullback in 1942 and earned his first varsity letter in football. Michigan finished the season with a record of 7 wins, 3 losses and 0 ties. They ended the conference season with a record of 3-2-0 which was good enough for a third-place tie.
Lund returned for his Junior year in 1943 and the Wolverines were looking to do better than second or third in the conference which is what usually happened in Crisler’s first five years. Don Lund earned one start at quarterback in his second season on the varsity and one at left halfback. He earned his second varsity letter. However, Michigan won eight out of nine games and finished the Big Ten with a perfect record of 6-0-0. They tied for the championship with Purdue. It was a very good year for the Wolverines and Fritz Crisler finally had a Big Ten title under his belt.
Don Lund returned for his senior season in 1944. Michigan was expected to compete for their second straight conference title, but it didn’t work out. Michigan ended the season with a final record of 8 wins and 2 losses. Their conference record of 5 wins and 2 losses was only good enough for second place.
The versatile Lund started three games at fullback and played a ton of football for the Wolverines in 1944. He earned his third varsity letter for his efforts. More importantly, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1944 football team. What an honor! It shows how much the self-less Lund meant to his team and his teammates.
Don Lund finished his Michigan career as a letterman in football, basketball and baseball. He is one of a very few Michigan Men to be called “MVP” even though he wasn’t a BIG “star” on the team. Mr. Lund went on to a very successful career that saw him play professional baseball, coach baseball at Michigan, coach for the Tigers, work in the front office for the Tigers and also as an Associate Athletic Director at Michigan. Oh yes, he also found time to broadcast Michigan Football games on the radio with Bob Ufer. “Lundo,” as Bob Ufer liked to call him, was obviously the “normal” guy in the booth while Ufer, was, well, Ufer!
Despite all of his wonderful accomplishments, Don Lund would not be the subject of today’s post if he wasn’t part of some interesting “firsts” during his time at Michigan. Here are the best ones I could find for Don Lund:
· Don Lund played in the first ever games against Great Lakes Naval Training Center and Iowa Pre-Flight in 1942.
· Lund played in the first, and only, game ever against Camp Grant in 1943.
· Don Lund played on Fritz Crisler’s first Big Ten Co-Championship team in 1943.
· Lund played in the first night game in Michigan Football history at Marquette in 1944.
· Don Lund became the first, and only, Michigan Football letterman and MVP to coach a Michigan Baseball team to the National Championship in 1962.
So, on the ninety-fifth anniversary of his birth, let’s remember Don Lund. He contributed to the great history of Michigan football left a wonderful legacy for all Michigan Men who followed in his footsteps. Sadly, Don Lund died on December 19, 2013 at the age of ninety. May Don Lund always rest in peace! Go Blue!
To read more about the life of Don Lund go to the links below: