Today is another great Maize and Blue day for a lot of reasons. The fourth-ranked Wolverines absolutely pounded Rutgers and are sitting at 6-0 heading into the bye week break. It is a very good place to be if you are a Wolverine fan, don’t you think?
Another reason to celebrate this day is because it is the birthday anniversary of a great Wolverine named Mervin “Merv” Pregulman. Mr. Pregulman was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1922. I think he, along with Harry Kipke, is one of the two greatest Wolverines ever born in Lansing!
Merv Pregulman came to play football for Michigan and Fritz Crisler in 1940. He put in his time as a freshman learning the Michigan system and he learned his lessons well. After two games as a Sophomore, Pregulman became a starting right guard and never stopped playing until his career ended in 1943.
Merv Pregulman was tough and he was smart. So, he became Coach Crisler’s most versatile lineman. During his three years on the Michigan varsity he started six games at right guard, ten games at center and six games at right tackle. Oh by the way, he also was an accurate placekicker for the Wolverines as well.
Merv Pregulman’s outstanding play was recognized early on as he won the Meyer Morton Award in 1941 as the most improved Wolverine. He continued to play at a high level in 1942 and earned All-Big Ten honors at center. Even though he and his teammates were winning a lot of games they continued to come up short in the conference. After tying for second in 1941, the Wolverines slipped to third place in 1942.
Pregulman’s career ended on a high-note! His stellar play earned him All-American recognition in 1943. More importantly, he also helped the Wolverines give Coach Fritz Crisler his first Big Ten Championship that year. Michigan went 8-1 for the season and finished 6-0 in the conference. Their only loss was to the top ranked Fighting Irish in early October.
Pregulman, and his talented teammates, finished the 1943 season with a career record of 21 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie. They won almost eighty-percent of their games (.796) and a Big Ten Championship to boot! Pregulman and his fellow lineman became known as the “Seven Oak Posts” for their toughness and hard-nosed play.
After his career at Michigan, Pregulman did what most men of his era did. He served his country in World War II as a Navy officer. He returned home and fulfilled his dream of playing professional football. After four years in the “league” he went into business. Merv Pregulman continued to serve his community and the University of Michigan for many, many years.
Merv Pregulman was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982. He earned a place in Michigan’s Hall of Honor in 1988 along with many other noteworthy awards. He was simply a marvelous Michigan Man for his entire life! Read more about his amazing life in the Wikipedia link below.
Please enjoy your Columbus Day Monday Wolverine fans and take time to remember a true Wolverine legend. Merv Pregulman lived a long and fruitful life. He left his family, friends and admirers on November 29, 2012. Let’s celebrate his life again on the ninety-fourth anniversary of his birth. Thank you Merv Pregulman for your outstanding contributions to Michigan football and for your service to America. Go Blue!