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#TBT--Barn History Series: The Field House Becomes Williams Arena

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A look a the promo guide to Williams Arena Dedication Week, February 27-March 4, 1950

Dr. Williams, real doctor, gets stadium named in his honor!
Dr. Williams, real doctor, gets stadium named in his honor!
MNHS

Today's entry is thanks to all around awesome dude, Paul Henning, of www.GopherHockeyHistory.com. Paul shared these scans of the program he has. Thanks Paul.

Sixty-five years ago this weekend the Field House was dedicated to Dr. Henry L. Williams. Originally opened in 1928, the 1950 ceremony was to celebrate renovations to the Barn, dividing the building into two in effect making space for the hockey rink. The other obvious reason for the week of events in 1950 was to christen the building Williams Arena after the football coach.

Henry L. Williams (a real doctor) played college ball for Yale, and then went on to coach Minnesota from 1900-1921. He holds the Minnesota all-time record for wins (136), winning percentage (.786), and is tied with Bernie Bierman for  Big Ten Titles (8). Doc Williams also won a National title in 1903, coached Bernie Bierman, and in 1904 coached in the Little Brown Jug game. In 1920 and 1921 the Gophers had down years finishing 9th and 6th in the Big Ten standings, Minnesota at the time wouldn't accept that level of failure and fired Doc Williams.The lore has always been that the Barn was named after Doc Williams to atone for firing the great. Who knows maybe.

At any rate let's look at the cool ass scans of the dedication program.