The new biography of Cliff Keen, the legendary, long-serving head wrestling coach at the University of Michigan, is now available for pre-order, the author announced Wednesday, Aug. 28.
“Legends of Michigan: Cliff Keen” by Dave Taylor, tells the story of Clifford P. Keen, assistant Wolverine football coach for 33 years, and head wrestling coach at the school for 45 years. That incredible tenure — from 1926-1970 — makes Keen not only the longest-serving coach in any sport at Michigan… but also the most durable wrestling head coach at any college.
As Michigan mat coach, Keen’s teams could claim 13 Big Ten conference team titles; 81 of his wrestlers won individual conference championships. Under Keen, 11 Wolverines claimed NCAA titles… and 68 earned NCAA All-American honors.
Prior to coming to Ann Arbor in the mid-1920s, Cliff Keen made a name for himself on the mats at Oklahoma State. Wrestling for all-time great coach Ed Gallagher, Keen was undefeated in three years wrestling varsity for the Cowboys. Keen graduated in 1924, four years before the first NCAA wrestling championships.
According to the Cliff Keen Athletic website for “Legends of Michigan: Cliff Keen,” the book features “eloquent stories, summaries, features, and countless interviews of former wrestlers and football players who competed for Coach Keen.” In addition, there are dozens of photos of Keen and his wrestlers, spanning the era from wool tights and horsehair mats of the 1920s, to synthetic-fabric singlets and foam-core mats of more modern times.
Advance orders for the book, priced at $39.95, with an anticipated publishing date of Sept. 20, may be made online at the Cliff Keen Athletic website.
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