Harry Kipke

Michganensian page on Harry Kipke


Harry Kipke was an athlete’s athlete. A star player for Lansing High School, Kipke took his talents to the University of Michigan in 1920. He was a three-year starter at half back and punter for head coach Fielding Yost, earning All-Conference honors twice and All-American honors once. He captained his senior team to an undefeated season, capped by being awarded 1924 National Championship honors. Along the way, Kipke earned letters each of his three years in football, baseball, and basketball, a feat accomplished by few athletes at that time.


Kipke coached baseball at the University of Missouri for a year and was head coach at Michigan State College in 1928. The next year he was named head coach at his alma mater by Yost, now Michigan’s athletic director. Kipke would coach the team to four straight conference championships and back-to-back national titles before resigning after the 1937 season.  He finished with a 46-26-4 record.


Kipke not only found Ford his first job at the University Hospital, waiting on tables in the interns’ dining room and washing dishes in the nurses’ cafeteria, Coach Kipke also found Ford employment as he graduated. “In the spring of my senior year, Harry Kipke got me an assistant football coaching job at Yale University under head coach Ducky Pond. As assistant line coach, head Junior Varsity coach, and the man in charge of scouting our opponents from 1935 through 1940, I was able to attend and graduate from Yale University Law School.”



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