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Clarence L. Munn papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-17.75

Scope and Contents

(1) SUBJECT FILES. 1946-1972, undated. 29.5 cubic feet

This series is composed of the files Munn kept as football coach and athletic director at Michigan State. It is divided into sixteen sub-series, a list of which can be found on the container listing preceding the inventory. The first four sub-series (1946-1959) each include three or more years. Beginning with 1959-1960 each sub-series covers one fiscal year (July-June). The only gap in the records is for the entire 1966-1967 year and the letters A-H for the 1967-1968 files. Most of the items consist of incoming and outgoing correspondence. Because the position of Athletic Director must be heavily concerned with public relations, researchers should not expect to find any rigid distinction between correspondence relating specifically to the administrative aspects of the job and personal correspondence. Arranged alphabetically by subject.


This series consists of materials relating to Munn’s administration of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Departments. Since these materials do not appear to have been kept in a fiscal year scheme, as was the case for the first series, they have been maintained as a signal subject file. The arrangement of these materials in a separate file appears to have been arbitrary. Several items dealing with the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department, particularly with courses related to varsity sports, can be found in the general subject files. The distinction between the two series is, therefore, not as rigid as the title implies. Generally, the file deals with the academic administration of the department and includes items on curriculum development, departmental meetings and personnel matters. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

(3) RESTRICTED FILES. 1948-1971, undated. 2.5 cubic feet

The restricted files consist of records which must be closed to researchers due to individuals’ right to privacy. These include correspondence and other records dealing with students’ academic performance as well as records relating to legal or personnel matters. These records were removed from the other two series and organized as a single subject file. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

(4) BIG TEN FILES. 1962-1972, 1.5 cubic feet

Records of MSU’s involvement in the Big Ten Conference. Prior to 1961, these materials were included in the first series of subject files described above. After that date, the records were maintained together as a single file. The materials consist largely of memoranda, correspondence and meeting minutes. Various issues of the administration of athletics such as eligibility, scheduling and rule changes are documented. Of particular interest are the folders containing the Scott Committee report and the Conferences self survey which examine a wide variety of issues related to Big Ten policy. Arranged alphabetically by subject.


This series consists of photographs of MSU athletics teams, facilities, buildings, groups of people, as well as non-MSU athletics, film, postcards, and videos.


This series contains landscape plans and architect drawings for the buildings at the golf course.


  • Creation: 1946 - 1972


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Series (3) contains Restricted Files.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Clarence L. “Biggie” Munn (1908-1975) served as both football coach and athletic director at Michigan State. MSU’s rise to prominence in the field of intercollegiate athletics owes a great deal to Munn’s successful tenures in these positions.

Munn graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1932 after begin named an unanimous All-American and the Most Valuable Player in the Big Ten his senior year. After a three-year stint as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Munn served for two years as head coach and athletics director at Albright College in Pennsylvania. He then returned to assistant coaching with stays at Syracuse and the University of Michigan. In 1946, he became head coach at Syracuse, a position he held for one year. The next year, President John Hannah hired Munn to succeed Charles Bachman as Michigan State’s head football coach. His teams compiled an impressive 54-9-2 record, at one point recording 28 straight victories. The highlights of Munn’s coaching career included the National Championship and “Coach of the Year” honors in 1952 and the 1954 Rose Bowl victory over UCLA. MSU football had earned a national reputation by the time Munn retired from coaching. Following the Rose Bowl victory, Munn accepted the position of athletic director. During his years at this post, he applied the same zeal to the development of all the athletic intramural programs that he had to coaching. The Forest Akers Golf Course, Men’s Intramural building and improvements on both Spartan Stadium and the Women’s Intramural building were completed during his administration. Munn also remained active in several non-University organizations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Olympic Committee and the American Football Coaches Association. In October 1971, Munn suffered an incapacitating stroke and was forced to retire from his position. One of his last public appearances took place in 1974 at the dedication of the MSU Ice Arena named in his honor. After a lengthy illness, he died on March 18, 1975.


36 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Organized into six series: 1. General Subject Files. 2. Health, Physical Education, Recreation Subject Files. 3. Restricted Files. 4. Big Ten Files. 5. Audiovisual Materials. 6. Oversized Materials.

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Clarence L. Munn Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US