The foyer of the University of Michigan athletic office is a trophy room which makes the Harvard Club of Boston look like a local billiard parlor.
To reverse Art Valpey's favorite maxim, it's a case of not being able to see the trees for the forest. It's so bad, in fact, that it took this bureau ten minutes to locate the famed Little Brown Jug.
On one side of the trophy hall is a doorway over which is inscribed in fine gold leaf," F. O. Crisler." On the other side, the legend over the arch reads in plain black paint, "Coaches." Inside the latter are the working quarters of such gridiron all-times as Bennie Oosterbaan and George Ceithaml.
To these we can now add the name of Arthur L. Valpey.
Valpey's former cubicle in this section of the Michigan athletic headquarters is as unpretentious as the man himself. Although it has housed the 32-year-old montor's vocational activities for the last six years, the room shows little of Valpey's stay there.
The man himself has little of the personal magnitude which made Richard Cresson Harlow the darling of the sports writers. But if this can be termed a weakness and that is a moot point--, it can also he called his strength; for Valpey's personality projection will never interfere with his judgment of the team under him the way Harlow's did.
Dick Harlow was always a lone wolf, wary of his opponents and his critics in the press and uncertain as to the ability of his assistant coaches. He demanded active command in all departments, and sometimes it was just too much for one man.
Art Valpey, on the other hand, is a quiet, self-effacing man who naturally expects competent assistance from his subordinates. His system of having the entire coaching staff vote on the starting lineup before every game is merely one indication of this quality.
It seems obvious that Valpey's philosophy here will lead to a more complete understanding of the Crimson's complex football problems than Harvard has experienced in the last 13 years.
Nor can the Michigan offensive system which Valpey will bring with him be tossed off as too complicated for the poor little Harvards. There is little doubt that the tricky ball-handling involved will serve simply to arouse squad interest and make the boys work harder.
To quash those pessimists who point constantly to the diminutive quality of the Crimson forward wall, it need only be said that the Wolverines accomplished the 49 to 0 Rose Bowl drubbing of Southern California with a line which was often outweighed 20 pounds per man.
"Fool 'em, don't bounce 'em" are Valpey's own words for the plan of attack, and if Harvard's educational standing means anything, it's a plan which should pay off on next fall's gridiron tally sheets.