The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.
Navigation: Home > Athletes > Dan Dworsky

Dan Dworsky



Perhaps the greatest football player in the storied history of Sioux Falls’ Washington High, Dworsky led Michigan to back-to-back undefeated seasons and national titles.

He grew up in the Twin Cities and moved to Sioux Falls for his junior year of high school. The 6-foot, 200-pounder lettered two years each in football, basketball and track. In 1944, he helped Coach Howard Wood’s Warriors to an unbeaten football season and ESD title as a fullback-linebacker. In track, he set many meet records in the shot put and discus.

At Michigan, he was a four-year starter at linebacker and was named to many All-America teams. He also started at fullback as a freshman and he started his last two seasons at center, helping the Wolverines win national titles in 1947 under Fritz Crisler and in ’48 under Benny Oosterbaan. The 1947 team, regarded as the greatest in Michigan history, went 10-0 with five shutouts and outscored foes 394-53, including a 49-0 thrashing of Southern Cal in the 1948 Rose Bowl. In 1983 Dworsky was selected as a center on the all-time 50-year Rose Bowl team after his performance in 1948.

Among the greats he played against while at Michigan were legendary Army players Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis.

Dworsky also wrestled two years at Michigan though he had no formal training in the sport. As a sophomore, he lost in the Big Ten heavyweight finals to Verne Gagne.

He was a first-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Dons of the All-American Football Conference and a second-round choice of the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. He chose the Dons and played one season of pro ball, as a linebacker in 1949. He played 11 games, intercepting one pass.

The Dons folded when the leagues merged. Turning down an offer from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dworsky chose to remain in Southern California and start his career as an architect. He won more than 100 awards in an architecture career that lasted  more than 50 years. His projects included Michigan’s Crisler Arena and UCLA’s Drake Stadium.
































« Back to Athletes