ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Don Lund, a former standout University of Michigan student-athlete, coach and administrator passed away of natural causes today (Tuesday, Dec. 10) at the age of 90. Lund was born May 18, 1923, in Detroit, Mich., and graduated from Detroit Southeastern High School.
Lund was a three-sport star at Michigan, earning three letters each in baseball, football and basketball. His number 33 jersey is one of six retired by the Michigan baseball program.
A star on the gridiron, Lund was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Chicago Bears in 1945. The running back at Michigan decided to pursue a Major League Baseball career rather than a football career, however, signing out of Michigan with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945. He played two-plus seasons for the Dodgers (1945, ’47-’48) before joining the St. Louis Brown at the tail-end of the 1948 season. Lund returned to his hometown team, the Detroit Tigers, for the final six years of his professional career (1949-54).
After finishing his major league career, Lund returned to Ann Arbor as the head baseball coach for the Wolverines. He compiled an 83-55-3 record in four seasons as skipper (1959-62). Under his direction, the baseball program claimed the 1961 Big Ten Championship, two NCAA Tournament berths and the 1962 NCAA Championship.
Lund returned to professional baseball for eight seasons (1963-70), serving as the Tigers’ Director of Player Personnel and was director of the organization’s farm system. He rejoined Michigan Athletics as an assistant athletic director in 1970. He handled all aspects of alumni relations and worked with the then Victors Club and athletic development until his retirement following the 1991-92 academic year.
Lund was inducted into the University of Michigan Hall of Honor in 1984 and the state of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.
Lund graduated with a B.S. in education from Michigan in 1945.