Bennie Oosterbaan

Benjamin Gaylord "Bennie" Oosterbaan (February 4, 1906 – October 25, 1990) was a three-time first team All-American football end for the Michigan Wolverines football team, two-time All-American basketball player for the basketball team, and an All-Big Ten Conference baseball player for the baseball team. Despite the fact that he last played in the 1920s, he is still widely regarded as one of the greatest football players in Michigan's history. He was selected by Sports Illustrated as the fourth greatest athlete in the history of the U.S. state of Michigan in 2003 and one of the eleven greatest college football players of the first century of the game (ending in 1968).

During his collegiate athletic career he was a Big Ten batting champion in baseball, Big Ten scoring champion in basketball, and Big Ten touchdown leader in football. He was the first University of Michigan athlete to become a first-team All-American in basketball and the first three-time first-team football All-American. In high school, he had been an All-American basketball player, a state champion in track and field, and an All-state player in baseball and football. In addition to his All-American collegiate performances as an end, Oosterbaan threw three touchdown passes in the dedication game of Michigan Stadium.

After his playing career ended, Oosterbaan spent several decades working for the University of Michigan Athletic Department until the 1970s. Oosterbaan served as the football, basketball, and baseball coach for the University. Oosterbaan's 1948 Michigan Wolverines football team won an Associated Press national championship, and his 1950 squad won the 1951 Rose Bowl. He later served as the director of athletic alumni relations.

By Dean Hanley

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