Michigan and Northwestern establish George Jewett Trophy for first Black player in the history of the Big Ten

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Michigan and Northwestern announced Thursday that it has established the George Jewett Trophy to be handed out to the winner of every football game between the two Big Ten foes. George Jewett was the first Black football player in the Big Ten, and the trophy is the first FBS college football trophy named after African American player.

Jewett played running back and kicker for the Wolverines in 1890 and 1892 while studying medicine. He transferred to Northwestern in 1893 to play his final two seasons while earning a medical degree.

“This is a historic moment in major college football history,” said Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel. “We are proud to partner with our peer institution, Northwestern, to recognize and honor an African American pioneer in George Jewett. George achieved at a high level as an athlete and doctor. His hard work and effort led to success not only for himself, but for those who would follow a similar path after him. His excellence at two Big Ten institutions as a student, athlete and citizen is something we want our current student-athletes to aspire to during their collegiate experience. The George Jewett Trophy will become a proud celebration of the importance to diversity on our teams, campuses, and in our society.”

Jewett went on to become a doctor in Chicago until 1899, when he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to coach and develop a dry cleaning and pressing business. He died in 1908 at the age of 38.

“This is a deserved and exciting acknowledgement of Dr. George Jewett, a landmark figure for both Northwestern and Michigan,” said Northwestern interim athletic director Janna Blais. “Beginning this fall, each time Wildcats and Wolverines student-athletes meet on the football field, it will be in celebration of a true pioneer. Every future meeting will stand as an opportunity to educate, communicate and inspire our communities in Dr. Jewett’s memory. Those dates also will offer a chance to take stock of the critical work taking place to create cultures defined by justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and excellence on our campuses and beyond.”

The Wolverines and Wildcats will square off in Ann Arbor on Oct. 23. They are not scheduled to meet every year due to the fact that they are in different divisions within the conference. Michigan holds a 58-15-2 all-time record against Northwestern. 

Published: 2021-02-25 15:34:31

Tags: #Michigan #Northwestern #establish #George #Jewett #Trophy #Black #player #history #Big #Ten

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