Friday, November 19, 2010
I first became aware of Lyman L. Frimodig (1897-1972) when I was hanging his picture on the wall at the Pretzel Bell restaurant, where I had been hired as a bus boy in 1971. He is the only athlete in the history of Michigan State to receive ten varsity letters, four each in basketball and baseball and two in football.
Frimodig was an all-around athlete at Calumet High School. He grew up a block away from, and was boyhood friends with, George Gipp, who went on to fame playing football for Knute Rockne at Notre Dame.
Frimodig subsequently attended Michigan Agricultural College, now known as Michigan State University, where he played basketball, baseball and football from 1914 to 1917. He held the single-game scoring record in basketball for 35 years.
Here he is, second from the right, back row, next to Coach Macklin. The championship team of 1914.
After graduating from the college in 1917, Frimodig returned to the Upper Peninsula where he coached and was principal at Escanaba High School. His work there was interrupted by the United States' entry into World War I, as Frimodig served in the military.
After being discharged from the military in 1919, Frimodig was hired as the freshman football coach at Michigan Agricultural College. He was the school's head basketball coach for two seasons (1920–1922), compiling a 24–20 record. He remained employed by the school for 41 years as a professor of health and physical education.
"Frim" also served four years in the 1930's as mayor of East Lansing. He can be considered one of the greatest Spartans to ever wear the green and white. His love of Michigan State's campus, athletics, and the city of East Lansing is very similar to mine. Your memory is still alive Mr. Frimodig.