MGoBlue.com continues its Leaders and Best in 50 States [plus DC and PR] today with the selections to represent North Carolina, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Today's selections are the first to represent football, ice hockey and baseball.
For Vermont, they went as far back in time as they have to date by selecting Ray Fisher, legendary Michigan Baseball coach and the namesake of the baseball stadium. Fisher is the all time leader in baseball victories for Michigan baseball coaches and led the Wolverines to the 1953 College World Series title. This is the first time they've selected a non-student athlete. As a side note, click on the link to Fisher's Wikipedia page and read it. It's got some fascinating tidbits about his major league playing career and his coaching career beyond Michigan including the fact that he pitched for the Reds against the "Black Sox" in the 1919 World Series, was one of the 17 spitball pitchers who were grandfathered and allowed to continue using the pitch after it was outlawed, and was one of the few players to be re-instated into professional baseball after being banned for life. His ban was directly related to the circumstances surrounding his acceptance of the Michigan head coaching job.
Two time All-American DB (and punt returner) Tripp Welborne is the representative from North Carolina, beating out (among others), Chris Perry. Since Welborne is from my era, I'm all for his selection over Perry. I know others will cry foul, but Welborne was the real deal who was a member of three Big Ten champion teams that featured some outstanding defenses in Bo's final seasons at the helm.
Congratulations to all of the deserving honorees.
|NORTH CAROLINA: Tripp Welborne|
Tripp Welborne (Reidsville)
• Sullivan Anthony "Tripp" Welborne (1987-90) earned consensus All-America honors in 1989 and 1990 and still ranks third on Michigan's career list for punt return yardage (773).
• Jamar Adams, Football
• Charlie Houchin, Men's Swimming and Diving
• Chris Perry, Football
|RHODE ISLAND: Jeff Jillson|
Jeff Jillson (North Smithfield)
• Jeff Jillson (1999-2001) was a three-time All-America (two athletic, one academic) defenseman. In 119 career games, he posted 23 goals, 65 assists and 88 points; all three totals rank among the top 15 all-time by a U-M defenseman. Despite leaving for the NHL after his junior year, Jillson completed his degree in sport management and communication with high distinction in Winter 2002.
|VERMONT: Ray Fisher|
Ray Fisher (Middlebury)
• Ray Fisher coached the Michigan baseball team from 1921-58, setting a school record with 636 wins and leading the Wolverines to 15 Big Ten championships and the 1953 College World Series title.
• Courtney Faller, Men's Swimming & Diving