Richard Ullrich '33
Richard Ullrich '33 was the quintessential athlete who excelled at various sports before, during, and after his stellar career as a Grinnellian. At Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Dick played on an undefeated Roughrider basketball team and also competed in track, tennis, and golf before graduating at 16. At 135 pounds he was too small for football. For two years after high school Ullrich worked at Detroit and played on a national championship A.A.U. basketball team At Grinnell he continued to shine on the courts, and his ball handling and long-shot skills twice earned Missouri Valley-First-Team All-Conference honors at guard. His weight now 180, Dick took up football and developed into the lead scorer and ground gainer in the conference. He did multiple duty as quarterback and halfback. He averaged over 50 yards punting, ran for distance, and kicked extra points, too. After graduation Ullrich played A.A.U. basketball and professional football with the Chicago Bears, refereed sports for 20 years, and stayed active as an athlete. Paired with Grinnellian Harris Coggeshall '29 (Hall of Fame '95), Dick won state, regional, and national honors in handball. He also was an avid golfer and a Grinnell city champion known for long hitting. Athletic Halls of Fame honoring Ullrich include B'nai B'rith of Des Moines, Iowa High Schools Boys' Basketball, A.A.U. Basketball, Des Moines Y.M.C.A. Handball, and National Football. A Navy officer during World War II, Ullrich had a career in business before returning to Grinnell as assistant to President Glenn Leggett in 1969. On three occasions he served as president of the Grinnell Alumni Association. Dick dies in 1989.