Harry George Kipke

Harry George Kipke

Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan, USA
Death 14 Sep 1972 (aged 73)
Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan, USA
Burial Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan, USA
Plot Block J Lot 197 Grave 2
Memorial ID 51934189 · View Source
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University of Michigan Football Head Coach

Kipke was born in Lansing, Michigan, in March 1899. His father, Charles W. Kipke, emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1872. His mother, Minnie Kipke, emigrated from Germany in 1888. Kipke had two older sisters (Lena and Marie), an older brother (William), and three younger brothers (Herbert, Walter, and Ray). At the time of the 1910 United States Census, the family was living in Lansing, and the father was working as an assembler in a motor works. Looked attended Lansing High School. By 1920 Kipke's father had died, and he was living with his mother and siblings in Lansing.

University of Michigan
Kipke attended the University of Michigan. He is one of the few individuals in Michigan Wolverines history to have been a letterman nine times, doing so in football, basketball, and baseball. Kipke played halfback and punter for the football team under head coach Fielding H. Yost. He was named an All-American in 1922 and is regarded as one of the school's all-time greats as a punter. His ability to punt out of bounds near the opposition's goal line helped Michigan to a 19–1–2 record from 1921 through 1923. Kipke was also the captain of the 1923 Michigan team that went 8–0 and won a national title. Kipke wore number 6 and weighed 158 pounds.

After serving as an assistant coach at the University of Missouri for four years, Kipke was named the head football coach at Michigan State University in 1928. Michigan State had a 3–4–1 record in 1928. The following year, Kipke was hired to take over as head football coach for the Michigan Wolverines.

In his first year as head coach in 1929, the Wolverines struggled, finishing in an eight place tie in Big Ten Conference with a 5–3–1 record. But Kipke quickly turned things around, leading the Wolverines to four straight conference championships and two national titles between 1930 and 1933. The 1932 and 1933 national championships teams did not lose any games, and featured All-Americans Harry Newman, Charles T. Bernard, Ted Petoskey, and Francis Wistert.

Kipke called his system "a punt, a pass, and a prayer" in a 1933 article for The Saturday Evening Post. He also reportedly coined the phrase, "A great defense is a great offense." [5]

In 1934, Kipke’s Wolverines fell from national champions to a tenth-place finish in the conference with a 1–7 record. The one bright spot in the Wolverines 1934 season was the play of the team’s most valuable p AcceptDeclineIgnore

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  • Created by: Sam Lindsay, MSgt, USMC, Retired
  • Added: 3 May 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 51934189
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harry George Kipke (26 Mar 1899–14 Sep 1972), Find A Grave Memorial no. 51934189, citing Lakeside Cemetery, Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Sam Lindsay, MSgt, USMC, Retired (contributor 47203802) .