HAPPY ON 68TH BIRTHDAY: With congratulatory telegrams from all parts of the country pouring in today from alumni associations and individuals, Fielding H. Yost, Michigan's athletic director, was prepared to celebrate his 68th birthday tomorrow in a happy, but quiet, manner. Ill for the past two months after an attack of the flu, Yost has insisted on getting out of bed, dressing and will spend most of his birthday tomorrow reading the hundreds of messages which he has received from his beloved "Meechegan" supporters.
Fielding H. (Hurry Up) Yost, Michigan's "grand old man" of football, observes his sixty-eighth birthday tomorrow, but there will be no family celebration.
Instead, the gray-haired athletic director will spend the day at his home where he has been confined for more than a month because of illness.
"A celebration would be too exciting," explained Mrs. Yost, "even though we'd like to have one."
Yost, whose genius in putting championship teams on the gridiron built Michigan a $3,000,000 athletic plant, was stricken with influenza in March after a winter vacation spent in the south.
His condition is further complicated by nervous exhaustion and it is doubtful if he ever will be able to resume the long hours of administrative work to which he has been accustomed.
As a result, almost all of his duties have fallen to Herbert O. (Fritz) Crisler, his assistant and head football coach, who will succeed to the directorship in 1941 when Yost reaches the compulsory retirement age for faculty members.
"My retirement will come soon enough," the veteran director commented recently. "I'm looking ahead to a few more successful football seasons like the last one."
The "Old Man," as he likes to be called, is denied all visitors except close associates and his secretary, Andrew Baker, who confers with him almost daily.
One of Yost's regrets is his inability to witness spring football practice, a privilege he has had to forego for the first time since he came to Michigan in 1901.
That year Yost, whose boyish hustle earned him the sobriquet of "Hurry Up," started in with the first of his four point-a-minute teams to make Michigan a football stronghold. In 1921 he assumed his present post.
Yost himself issued a statement in which he declared:
"It's a great birthday for me. I can think of each year I've been here and recall over a dozen Michigan men I've known intimately each year. This has been going on for 40 years. Anyone with that many friends scattered all over the country has a right to be happy."