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The Old Barn: Part 2

In 1923, the first ever field house was built on State Street. When proposing the idea, Fielding Yost even coined the term: “All it is is a field with a house over it, so let’s call it a field house.” At the time, Yost Field House was the home of Michigan track and field, basketball, wrestling, baseball, and practices for football. Yost, who was Michigan’s athletic director when it was built, thought that such a facility would give Wolverines sports teams an advantage over those from other schools, for practicing and competing. He knew that, although Michigan was near the pinnacle of college athletics, constructing Yost Field house would maintain or even improve this position. This was just another example of the foresight and attention to detail that Yost possessed, and his prediction that the field house would be of great use to Michigan proved to be a correct one.

Yost Field house was the first building of its type on any campus, and its construction may be partially credited for the obsession in today’s athletic departments with building new facilities to attract recruits and train athletes. “Everyone in the country has a Yost Field House now” says Kip Taylor. He alludes to the fact that, although Yost was the first field house built, everyone soon realized what a genuinely good idea it was, and followed suit. As the building was in the planning stages, Fielding Yost knew that he would like it to be named after himself. However, at the time, naming buildings against living people was against university policy. However, behind strong support from the students at Michigan, Yost was able to convince the administration to break the “no living legends” rule. The rule has also since been forgotten in the naming of such buildings as Schembechler Hall (built in 1990, Bo Schembechler died in 2006), Crisler Arena (built in 1967, Fritz Crisler died in 1982), and Canham Natatorium (built in 1988, Don Canham died in 2005) (Bentley Historical Library).

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“The Old Barn: Part 2”