A Michigan football legend passed away over the weekend. Richard “Dick” Kempthorn passed away on Friday at the age of 92.
Kempthorn began his collegiate career at Miami (Ohio) University before transferring to Michigan for the remainder of his career. Following the end of World War II, where Kempthorn served as an engine cadet, he made the move to Ann Arbor.
The Wolverines finished the 1947 and 1948 seasons undefeated and were the No. 1 team in the final AP Poll in 1948. Kempthorn was named team MVP in 1949 as he payed fullback and linebacker for the team.
The 1949 team finished the season at 6-2-1.
— Detroit News Sports (@detnews_sports) February 13, 2019
Following his college football career, Kempthorn could have pursued a career in professional football. He was drafted in the 14th round of the NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
He also became a second round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the All-American Football Conference Secret Draft in 1949.
Instead of pursuing a career in professional football, Kempthorn went to work at his father’s automotive business in Canton, Ohio.
He eventually served his country again in the Korean War as a fighter pilot. He flew over 100 missions and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery during the war.
Michigan inducted Kempthorn into the school’s Athletic Hall of Honor in 1992.