Henry Fonde cropped from the 1945 Michigan Wolverines team photograph
January 13, 1924|
|Died||May 3, 2009
Ann Arbor, Michigan
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Ann Arbor Pioneer H.S.
Henry Fonde (January 13, 1924 – May 3, 2009) was an American football player and coach. He played for the University of Michigan from 1945 to 1947 under head coach Fritz Crisler. In ten years as the head football coach at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School (1949–1958), he compiled a record of 69–6–4. He subsequently served as an assistant football coach at the University of Michigan under head coach Bump Elliott from 1959–1968.
Fonde was a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. He enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1944 as part of the V-12 Navy College Training Program. He played for Fritz Crisler's Michigan Wolverines football teams from 1945 to 1947. In his first year playing for the Wolverines, Fonde scored Michigan's only touchdown in a 7–3 victory over Ohio State in 1945. The Associated Press described Fonde's role in the game-winning drive as follows:
"Less than seven minutes of play remained when Michigan sent Halfback Henry Fonde diving through Ohio State's right tackle from the one-yard line for the winning touchdown. The 18-year-old navy trainee had made the opportunity himself by going 25 yards with a pass from Pete Elliott. Fonde sidestepped Buckeye Halfback Dick Fisher as he caught the pass on the Ohio State 35-yard line and pedalled 16 yards farther before being hauled down by Ollie Cline on the Ohio 19."
In 1947, Fonde played for Crisler's undefeated 1947 team, considered by some the greatest Michigan football team of all time. After an undefeated, untied regular season, the 1947 Wolverines defeated the University of Southern California 49 to 0 in the 1948 Rose Bowl. The 1948 Rose Bowl was Fonde's final game as a player for the Wolverines, and he capped his collegiate career by throwing the only forward pass he ever threw in a game—resulting in a 45-yard touchdown completions to Gene Derricotte.
After graduating from Michigan, Fonde spent ten years as the head football coach at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School from 1949 to 1958. He compiled a record of 69–6–4 at Pioneer. In 1959, when Fonde's former teammate, Bump Elliott, took over as Michigan's head football coach, Fonde joined the staff as an assistant football coach. Fonde was an assistant coach at Michigan for ten years from 1959 to 1968. Fonde died in 2009 at age 85 of complications brought on by Alzheimer's disease.
- "1945 Football Team". University of Michigan.
- "Wolves Win for Second in Big Ten: Fonde Scores Late; Wrecks Bucks, 7 to 3". Council Bluffs Nonpareil. 1945-11-25.
- "1947 Michigan Football Roster". University of Michigan.
- "1947 Football Team". University of Michigan.
- "Crisler's Men Shatter Numerous Rose Bowl Records". Long Beach Press-Telegram. 1948-01-02.
- Seth Gordon (2009-05-06). "Former U-M football player/coach Henry Fonde dies". Ann Arbor News.