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Born May 1, 1930
East Chicago, Indiana
Died June 5, 2017(2017-06-05) (aged 87)
Highland, Indiana
Honors Michigan Wolverines Most Valuable Player, 1952
Indiana Football Hall of Fame, inducted 2003[1]

Teddy Peter Topor (May 1, 1930 – June 5, 2017) was an American football player who played quarterback and linebacker. He played college football for the University of Michigan and professional football for the Detroit Lions.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Topor was born in East Chicago, Indiana in 1930 and graduated from East Chicago Roosevelt High School in 1949.[2] He played on two Indiana state championship teams and was an Honorable Mention All-American high school player in 1948.[1]

University of Michigan[edit | edit source]

Topor enrolled at the University of Michigan where he played football for the Michigan Wolverines football teams from 1950 to 1952. He played on the 1950 Michigan Wolverines football team that won the Big Ten Conference championship and defeated the University of California in the 1951 Rose Bowl.[3] A two-way player, Topor started seven games at quarterback and eight games as linebacker for the 1951 Wolverines.[4][5][6]

Topor (No. 27) with the football in 1951

In 1951, Topor also "became the center of a faculty dispute over whether Michigan employed double scholastic standards for athletes and nonathletes."[7] Topor left the campus for a time, but he returned in 1952.[8] Head coach Bennie Oosterbaan reported that Topor had both improved his school work and "emerged as a man."[7] In September 1952, a feature story from the Associated Press reported that a fit and dedicated Topor had reinvigorated the Wolverines with a new spirit:

"Not the least of the factors in Michigan's dark horse role in the 1952 football campaign is an improved team spirit. And Coach Benny Oosterbaan and his staff attribute much of this to Ted Topor, the 212-pound senior quarterback from East Chicago, Ind."[7]

Topor started all nine games at quarterback for the 1952 Wolverines and was selected as the team's Most Valuable Player.[9]

Detroit Lions[edit | edit source]

Topor was selected by the Detroit Lions in the 1953 NFL Draft. Before starting his professional football career, he was inducted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Topor was one of 226 NFL personnel who served in the military during the Korean War.[10] After serving two years in the military, Topor was discharged in September 1955 and played at the linebacker position for the Detroit Lions in the 1955 NFL season.[11][12][13] However, his football career was cut short by injuries.[2]

Later years[edit | edit source]

After his playing career ended, Topor was the coach of the semi-pro Calumet Steelers for several years in the late 1950s and early 1960s.[1][14][15]

Topor was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2003.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Ted Topor profile". Indiana Football Hall of Fame. http://www.indiana-football.org/?q=node/672. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Matt Douthett (2009-08-29). "Ted Topor selected as People's Choice Legend at South Shore Sports Legends events". nwi.com. http://nwitimes.com/sports/local/article_58f7826d-e6fa-5d2e-8961-335fc7ccc1fa.html. 
  3. "1950 Football Team". University of Michigan. http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1950fbt.htm. 
  4. "1951 Football Team". University of Michigan. http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1951fbt.htm. 
  5. "Topor Gives Bennie Happy Grid Problem: Versatile Fullback Plays Both Ways". September 27, 1951. p. 30. https://freep.newspapers.com/clip/3681095/topor_gives_bennie_happy_grid_problem/. 
  6. "Extra Duty for Topor: U-M Back to Play 'Both Ways' at Iowa". October 18, 1951. p. 29. https://freep.newspapers.com/clip/3681104/extra_duty_for_topor/. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 John Mayhew (1952-09-19). "Ted Topor Fires 'M' Spirit For MSC Game". 
  8. "Topor Given Green Light in Studies". February 15, 1952. p. 20. https://freep.newspapers.com/clip/3681119/topor_given_green_light_in_studies/. 
  9. "1952 Football Team". University of Michigan. http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1952fbt.htm. 
  10. "Football and America: The Korean War Honor Roll". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. http://www.webcitation.org/6KqpijpGz?url=http://www.profootballhof.com/history/general/war/korean/honor_roll.aspx. 
  11. "Ted Topor profile". databasefootball.com. Archived from the original on 2011-11-23. https://web.archive.org/web/20111123100241/http://databasefootball.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=TOPORTED01. 
  12. "Waivers on Ricca Asked". 1955-11-01.  ("The Lions announced that Ted Topor, former Michigan linebacker, has replaced Ricca on their roster. Topor had spent the last two seasons in service and returned to the Lions at the start of the season. Detroit had no room for Topor then, but told him to stand by.")
  13. "Guard Returns To Detroit 11". 1955-09-06. ("At the same time, Ted Topor, former Michigan linebacker who was discharged from the Army last Friday, reported to camp.")
  14. "Topor Adds Wrestler". 1963-11-01. 
  15. "Steelers Hold First Grid Drill Sunday". 1961-08-04. 

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