Bill Pritula

William "Bill" Pritula (March 10, 1922 – January 24, 2006) was an American football player. He played college football as the starting right tackle for Fritz Crisler's Michigan Wolverines football teams in 1942, 1946, and 1947. He was one of Michigan's "Seven Oak Posts" line in 1942, made famous for their durability and two-way playing, and was also a key blocker for the 1947 offensive unit known as the "Mad Magicians."

Pritula was born in 1922 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but moved with his parents to Detroit as a child. His father, Ivan Prytula, immigrated from Austria in 1911. Pritula attended Chadsey High School in Detroit.[1] He enrolled at the University of Michigan and played at the right tackle position for the Michigan Wolverines football team from 1941–1942 and 1946–1947. After serving as a backup center in 1941,[1] Pritula started all ten games at right tackle for the 1942 team.[2] With the roster depleted due to the war, Pritula was one of several 60-minute men on the 1942 team who played all ten games with little or no substitution.[3] Michigan's 1942 line, which included Pritula, Julius Franks, Elmer Madar, Merv Pregulman, Albert Wistert, and Robert Kolesar, became known as the "Seven Oak Posts.[3][4]

Pritula missed three years at Michigan while serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps engineers in the Philippines during World War II. He returned to Michigan in 1946 and resumed his position as the Wolverines starting right tackle.[5] As a senior, he started nine of ten games at right tackle for the undefeated 1947 Michigan Wolverines football team.[6] His final game for Michigan was the 1948 Rose Bowl in which Michigan defeated the USC Trojans, 49-0.[7] During his three years as a starter at Michigan, the team compiled a record of 23-5-1 and were ranked No. 9, No. 6 and No. 1 in the AP Polls.[2][5][6] He was selected by the Associated Press as a second-team All-Big Nine Conference player in 1947.[8] He was also invited to play in the 1948 Chicago College All-Star Game against the Chicago Cardinals.[9] Pritula was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and the Tau Beta Pi national engineering society at Michigan.[10]

In June 1948, Pritula was hired as the line coach at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.[11] After retiring from football, Pritula worked for many years as an engineer for General Motors.[12] He received a master of arts degree from Michigan in 1967. He died in January 2006.

Bill Pritula
Bill Pritula
Born:March 10, 1922
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died:January 24, 2006 (aged 83)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Career information
Position(s)Tackle
CollegeMichigan
Career history
As player
1941–1942, 1946–1947Michigan

References

  1. ^ a b "1941 Football Roster". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Archived from the original on 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  2. ^ a b "1942 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Archived from the original on 2012-10-06.
  3. ^ a b Lyle E. Nelson. "Crisler's '42 Ironmen" (PDF). College Football Historical Society Newsletter. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-06.
  4. ^ Jim Cnockaert (2004). Michigan Where Have You Gone?. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-58261-771-8.
  5. ^ a b "1946 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library.
  6. ^ a b "1947 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library.
  7. ^ "Records Smashed in 49-to-0 Victory: Michigan, in Bid for National Honors, Gains 491 Yards and Sets Modern Scoring Record; Brieske Kicks 7 Points; Southern California Defense Futile Against Chappuis and Weisenburger". The New York Times. January 2, 1948.
  8. ^ "Four Wolverines, Three Illini Named on All-Conference Team". The New York Times. November 25, 1947.
  9. ^ "10 Michigan Gridders Bid To All-Star Tilt". St. Petersburg Times (AP story). June 15, 1948.
  10. ^ 1947 Michiganensian, pp. 65 and 267.
  11. ^ "Sports in Short". The Milwaukee Journal. June 28, 1948.
  12. ^ "It'll be golden day for past, present Michigan gridders". The Argus-Pres. November 25, 1997.
1941 Michigan Wolverines football team

The 1941 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1941 Big Ten Conference football season. Under fourth-year head coach Fritz Crisler, Michigan compiled a record of 6–1–1 (3–1–1 Big Ten), outscored opponents 147 to 41 and was ranked #5 in the final AP Poll. The team played three ranked opponents, defeating #5 Northwestern (14–7), playing to a tie with #14 Ohio State (20–20), and losing by a 7–0 score to the 1941 Minnesota team that won the 1941 national championship. With a strong, veteran line, the Wolverines also shut out four of their eight opponents: Pittsburgh (40–0); Columbia (28–0); Illinois (20–0); and Iowa (6–0).Fullback Bob Westfall was selected as a consensus first-team player on both the 1941 College Football All-America Team and the All-Big Ten Conference team. Halfback Tom Kuzma was the team's leading scorer with 48 points, and tackle Reuben Kelto received the team's Most Valuable Player award. Tackle Al Wistert received second-team All-America honors, and center Robert Ingalls was selected as a first-team All-Big Ten honoree.

1942 Michigan Wolverines football team

The 1942 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1942 Big Ten Conference football season. The 1942 team compiled a record of 7–3 and was ranked No. 9 in the final Associated Press poll. The team's line that included Albert Wistert, Merv Pregulman, Julius Franks (U-M's first African-American All-American), Elmer Madar, Robert Kolesar, Bill Pritula and Philip Sharpe and was known as the "Seven Oak Posts."

1943 Michigan Wolverines football team

The 1943 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1943 Big Ten Conference football season. Fritz Crisler, in his sixth year as head coach, led the team to an 8–1 record and a tie with Purdue for the Western Conference championship. The team was ranked #3 in the final AP Poll behind Notre Dame and the Iowa Pre-Flight School. Michigan outscored its opponents 302 to 73 in nine games. The team's total of 302 points (33.5 points per game) was the highest point total for a Michigan team since the 1917 team scored 304 points in 10 games (30.4 points per game). Defensively, the team held every opponent, except Notre Dame, to seven or fewer points.

After opening the season with three consecutive victories, the Wolverines lost to Notre Dame by a 35–12 score in game matching teams ranked #1 and #2 in the AP Poll. In the fifth game of the season, the team responded with a 49-6 victory over a Minnesota team ranked #11 by the AP. The game marked the worst defeat to that time in the history of the Minnesota football program and Michigan's first victory over the Golden Gophers since 1932. The Wolverines finished the season with a 45–7 victory over Ohio State—the largest margin of victory in the Michigan–Ohio State football rivalry since Michigan's 86–0 victory in 1902.

At the end of the season, several Michigan players received individual honors. Despite missing the last three games of the season due to military service, fullback Bill Daley finished seventh in the voting for the Heisman Trophy and was selected as consensus All-American. Daley led the team in both rushing and scoring, totaling 817 rushing yards and 59 points in six games. Daley gained 216 of his rushing yards in Michigan's 21–7 over Northwestern.

Bob Wiese, who played at quarterback and fullback, was selected by his teammates as the most valuable player on the 1943 team and finished in a tie for second in voting for the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy presented to the most valuable player in the Western Conference. Right tackle Merv Pregulman was also selected as a first-team All-American by Collier's Weekly and Stars & Stripes. center Fred Negus was also selected as a first-team All-Western Conference player.

1944 NFL Draft

The 1944 National Football League Draft was held on April 19, 1944, at the Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1946 Michigan Wolverines football team

The 1946 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1946 Big Nine Conference football season. In their ninth year under head coach was Fritz Crisler, the Wolverines compiled a 6-2-1 record (5-1-1 Big Ten), outscored opponents 233 to 73, and finished the season in second place in the Big Nine Conference and ranked #6 in the final 1946 AP poll. The team's two losses came against an undefeated Army team that was ranked #2 in the final AP poll and against an Illinois team that won the Big Nine championship and was ranked #5 in the final AP poll. Michigan won its last four games by a combined score of 162 to 19, starting a 25-game winning streak that continued for nearly three years until October 8, 1949. In the final game of the 1946 season, Michigan defeated Ohio State 58-6, the Buckeyes' worst defeat since joining the conference in 1913.

Halfback Bob Chappuis passed for 735 yards, the most since Benny Friedman set the school record with 760 passing yards in 1925. Chappuis also rushed for 548 yards, received second-team All-American and first-team All-Big Nine honors, and was selected as Michigan's Most Valuable Player for the 1946 season.

The only Michigan player to receive first-team All-American honors in 1946 was end Elmer Madar. Center Jim Brieske was the team's leading scorer with 32 points having kicked 29 points after touchdown and one field goal. Bob Mann led the team in touchdowns with five. End Art Renner was the team captain.

1947 All-Big Nine Conference football team

The 1947 All-Big Nine Conference football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Big Nine Conference teams selected by the Associated Press (AP), United Press (UP) and the International News Service (INS) for the 1947 Big Nine Conference football season. The top vote getters in the AP voting by conference coaches were Leo Nomellini, Bob Chappuis, and Bump Elliott, each receiving 16 of 18 possible points.

1947 Big Nine Conference football season

The 1947 Big Nine Conference football season was the 52nd season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Nine Conference (also known as the Western Conference and the Big Ten Conference) and was a part of the 1947 college football season.

The 1947 Big Ten champion was Michigan. The Wolverines compiled a perfect 10–0 record, outscored its opponents by a combined total of 394 to 53, and defeated the USC Trojans by a score of 49 to 0 in the 1948 Rose Bowl game.

Michigan halfback Bob Chappuis led the conference with 1,395 yards of total offense, which was also the fourth best in the country. Chappuis also finished second in the voting for the 1947 Heisman Trophy, trailing Johnny Lujack by a tally of 742 votes to 555 votes, with both finishing ahead of Doak Walker and Bobby Layne.Wisconsin finished in second place in the conference, led by sophomore halfback Jug Girard. Girard, a triple-threat man who also returned two punts for touchdowns, was the first conference player selected in the 1948 NFL Draft, being chosen by the Green Bay Packers with the seventh pick in the first round.

1947 Michigan Wolverines football team

The 1947 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1947 Big Nine Conference football season. In its tenth year under head coach Fritz Crisler, Michigan compiled a perfect 10–0 record, won the Big Ten Conference championship, and defeated the USC Trojans by a score of 49–0 in the 1948 Rose Bowl game. Although ranked second in the AP Poll at the end of the regular season, the Wolverines were selected as the nation's No. 1 team by a 226–119 margin over Notre Dame in an unprecedented (and unofficial) AP Poll taken after the bowl games. The 1947 team outscored its opponents, 394–53, and has been selected as the best team in the history of Michigan football.The 1947 Michigan Wolverines included five players who have been inducted into the College or Pro Football Halls of Fame: left halfback Bob Chappuis (who finished second in the 1947 Heisman Trophy voting), right halfback Bump Elliott (who received the Chicago Tribune trophy as the Big Ten MVP), defensive quarterback Pete Elliott, defensive end Len Ford, and tackle Al Wistert. Offensive tackle Bruce Hilkene was the team captain, and quarterback Howard Yerges was the field general who became known as "Crisler's 'second brain.'" Jack Weisenburger was the "spinning fullback" and the 1947 Big Ten rushing leader.

The 1947 Wolverines were the first team fully to embrace the concept of defensive and offensive specialization. Previously, most players had played their positions on both offense and defense. In 1947, Fritz Crisler established separate offensive and defensive squads. Only Bump Elliott and Jack Weisenberger played on both squads. In November 1947, Time magazine ran a feature article about the 1947 Wolverines focusing on the new era of specialization marked by Crisler's decision to field separate offensive and defensive units. The Time article noted: "Michigan's sleight-of-hand repertory is a baffling assortment of double reverses, buck-reverse laterals, crisscrosses, quick-hits and spins from seven different formations. Sometimes, watching from the side lines, even Coach Crisler isn't sure which Michigan man has the ball. Michigan plays one team on offense, one on defense...Whenever Michigan's defensive team regains the ball, Crisler orders: 'Offense unit, up and out,' and nine men pour onto the field at once." Crisler's single-wing formation in action was "so dazzling in its deception" that the media nicknamed the 1947 team the "Mad Magicians".

1947–48 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey season

The 1947–48 Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey team represented the University of Michigan in college ice hockey. In its fourth year under head coach Vic Heyliger, the team compiled a 20–2–1 record, outscored its opponents 141 to 63, and won the first 1948 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament held in March 1948 at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Gordon McMillan was the team scoring leader for four consecutive years from 1945 to 1949. During the 1947–48 season, he appeared in 21 games and had career highs in goals (32) and total points (62). In February 1948, McMillan passed his coach, Vic Heyliger (who played at Michigan 1935-37), to become the all-time points leader in Michigan hockey history. Connie Hill, a defenseman from Copper Cliff, Ontario, was the team's captain for the third consecutive year.

1948 Michigan Wolverines football team

The 1948 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan during the 1948 Big Nine Conference football season. In its first year under head coach Bennie Oosterbaan, Michigan compiled a 9–0 record, defeated six ranked opponents by a combined score of 122–17, and won both the Big Nine Conference and national football championships. In the final AP Poll, Michigan received 192 first place votes, twice as many as second-place Notre Dame which garnered 97 first place votes.

The 1948 season was Michigan's second straight undefeated, untied season. After Fritz Crisler led the 1947 team to a perfect 10–0 record, the Wolverines entered the 1948 season with a 14-game winning streak dating back to October 1946. Despite the loss of all four backfield starters from the 1947 team (including Big Nine MVP Bump Elliott and Heisman Trophy runner-up Bob Chappuis), the 1948 team extended the winning streak to 23 games.

On offense, Michigan was led by a new backfield that included All-American quarterback Pete Elliott and halfbacks Chuck Ortmann and Leo Koceski. The team scored 252 points, an average of 28 points per game. With Ortmann as the principal passer, the Wolverines relied on an air attack, gaining more yards in the air (1,355) than on the ground (1,262). Dick Rifenburg, the team's leading receiver, was picked as a first-team All-American at the end position. Team captain Dominic Tomasi was selected as the team's Most Valuable Player. The 1949 Michiganensian wrote of the 250-pound guard, "Famous for his sharp shattering blocking, Dom tore huge gaps in the opposing lines to pave the way for Michigan's steam roller offense."On defense, the Wolverines allowed only 44 points, an average of 4.8 points per game. The defense was led by tackles Alvin Wistert and Al Wahl, center Dan Dworsky, and fullback Dick Kempthorn. Michigan gave up 935 passing yards and 851 rushing yards. The team shut out Oregon despite the passing game of College and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Norm Van Brocklin. It also held ranked Purdue and Northwestern teams to 36 and 47 rushing yards, respectively. The defense forced a total of 32 turnovers (including 21 interceptions), an average of three-and-a-half turnovers per game.

1952 Detroit Titans football team

The 1952 Detroit Titans football team represented the University of Detroit in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) during the 1952 college football season. In its second year under head coach Dutch Clark, Detroit compiled finished with a 3–6 record (1–3 against conference opponents), finished fourth in the MVC, and was outscored by all opponents by a combined total of 224 to 206.Ted Marchibroda, who later spent more than 40 years in the NFL as a player and coach, was the team's starting quarterback. Marchibroda led the nation with 1,813 yards of total offense in 1952, which included 1,637 passing yards. On November 14, in his last home game for the Titans, Marchibroda set a new national, single-game record with 390 passing yards.The team's staff included Wally Fromhart (backfield coach), Bill Pritula (line coach), Edmund J. Barbour (freshmen coach), and Dr. Raymond D. Forsyth (trainer). The team's co-captains were fullback Richard John Koster and end Peter Bonnani.

Elmer Madar

Elmer F. Madar (November 28, 1920 – February 9, 1972) was an All American football player at the University of Michigan in 1942 and 1946.

History of Michigan Wolverines football in the Crisler years

The History of Michigan Wolverines football in the Crisler years covers the history of the University of Michigan Wolverines football program during the period from the hiring of Fritz Crisler as head coach in 1938 through his retirement as head coach after winning the 1948 Rose Bowl. Michigan was a member of the Big Ten Conference during the Crisler years and played its home games at Michigan Stadium.

During the 10 years in which Crisler served as head football coach, Michigan compiled a record of 71–16–3 (.806). Tom Harmon played for the Wolverines from 1938 to 1940 and in 1940 became the first Michigan player to win the Heisman Trophy. 1947 Michigan team, sometimes known as the "Mad Magicians", compiled a perfect 10–0 record, outscored its opponents 394–53, defeated the USC Trojans 49–0 in the 1948 Rose Bowl game, and were selected as the nation's No. 1 team by a 226–119 margin over Notre Dame in an unprecedented AP Poll taken after the bowl games. Bob Chappuis finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1947.

Ten players from the Crisler years have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. They are Chappuis, Bump Elliott, Pete Elliott, Harmon, Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch, David M. Nelson (inducted as coach), Tubby Raymond (inducted as coach), and Bob Westfall, Albert "Ox" Wistert, and Alvin "Moose" Wistert. Two have also been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame—Hirsch and Len Ford. Three members of the coaching staff have also been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. They are Crisler, Clarence "Biggie" Munn, and Bennie Oosterbaan (inducted as player).

List of Michigan Wolverines football players

This is a list of Michigan Wolverines football players who have attained notability through their performance in the sport of American football and other endeavors. The list includes over 750 players, including more than 50 All-Americans, three Heisman Trophy winners (Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson), six U.S. Congressmen, and a President of the United States (Gerald Ford). The list is presented in alphabetical order but is sortable by the years and positions at which they played.

List of Michigan Wolverines in the NFL draft

This is a list of Michigan Wolverines football players in the NFL Draft.

Merv Pregulman

Mervin Pregulman (October 10, 1922 – November 29, 2012) was an All-American football player, businessman, and philanthropist. He played football as a tackle and center for the University of Michigan Wolverines from 1941 to 1943 and was selected as a first-team All-American in 1943. He was inducted into the United States Navy and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, narrowly surviving a kamikaze attack on his ship in 1945.

Pregulman was a first-round draft pick (seventh overall pick) of the Green Bay Packers in the 1944 NFL Draft. He played four years of professional football with the Packers (1946), Detroit Lions (1947–48), and New York Bulldogs (1949).

He later became the president of Siskin Steel & Supply Co.in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was also active in philanthropy and community service, including service as president of the Siskin Foundation and a member of the University of Chattanooga Foundation's board of trustees. In 2004, he became the 13th recipient of the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford Award. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982.

Robert Kolesar

Robert C. "Bob" Kolesar (April 5, 1921 – January 13, 2004) was an American football player and medical doctor. He played at the guard position for the University of Michigan from 1940 to 1942 and for the Cleveland Browns in 1946 after a stint in the U.S. Army during World War II. While playing at Michigan, he was part of a line that was known as the "Seven Oak Posts".

Kolesar retired from professional football after one season to pursue a medical career, and later established a practice in Saginaw, Michigan. He died in 2004.

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