Standout guard August Michalske was a tough lineman who earned the nickname “Iron Mike” for his durability over three seasons with the New York Yankees and in eight seasons as a Packer.
A Penn State All American, Michalske signed with the American Football League New York Yankees in 1926, blocking for standout back Red Grange. The 6’0” 209-pound Michalske played for the Yankees until they folded in 1928. The next season, he became a Packer.
Known for his stamina and toughness, “Iron Mike” Michalske was exceptionally quick and had an explosive charge at the snap of the ball. On defense, he used his quickness and elusiveness to pioneer both the blitz and an early version of the modern linebacker.
“I didn’t get hurt,” Michalske said. “Not until I injured my back in my last year. I played both ways – 60 minutes almost every game.”
Michalske played on the three consecutive Packer championship teams of 1929-’31. He continued his Packer career through 1935. In 1936, he coached at Lafayette College, then returned to play one more season as a Packer.
He convinced Curly Lambeau to convert college fullbacks Pete Tinsley and Buckets Goldenberg to guard to take advantage of their quickness.
After retiring as a Packer, Michalske coached at Texas, Texas A&M and Purdue. He was also an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates and in the 1950s with the Baltimore Colts.
Michalske was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964.
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