Jay Berwanger

John Jacob "Jay" Berwanger (March 19, 1914 – June 26, 2002) was an American college football player and referee.[1] He was the first winner of the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy in 1935 (the following year the award was renamed the Heisman Trophy); the trophy is awarded annually to the nation's most outstanding college football player. Berwanger was a star halfback for the Chicago Maroons football team of the University of Chicago, where he was known as the "one man football team".[2] In 1936, Berwanger became the first player drafted into the National Football League (NFL) in its inaugural 1936 NFL Draft, although he did not play professionally.

Jay Berwanger
Jay Berwanger
Berwanger at University of Chicago in early 1930s
Chicago Maroons
Career history
High schoolDubuque (IA)(13)
Personal information
Born:March 19, 1914
Dubuque, Iowa
Died:June 26, 2002 (aged 88)
Oak Brook, Illinois
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg)
Career highlights and awards
College Football Hall of Fame (1954)

College career

In a 1934 game against the Michigan Wolverines, Berwanger left his mark on Michigan center Gerald Ford in the form of a distinctive scar beneath the future U.S. President's left eye.[3] In 1935, Berwanger became the first recipient of the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, renamed the Heisman Trophy the following year. He received 84 votes, finishing ahead of Army's Monk Meyer, Notre Dame's William Shakespeare, and Princeton's Pepper Constable.[4] He was also awarded the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference and earned unanimous All-America honors. Berwanger also competed in track and field for Chicago, setting a school decathlon record in 1936 that stood until 2007.[5] In college, he was also a brother of the Psi Upsilon fraternity.

After college

In 1936, Berwanger was the first player drafted into the National Football League in its inaugural 1936 NFL draft.[6] The Philadelphia Eagles selected him, but did not think they would be able to meet his reported salary demands of $1,000 per game.[7] They traded his negotiating rights to the Chicago Bears for tackle Art Buss.[8] Berwanger initially chose not to sign with the Bears in part to preserve his amateur status so that he could compete for a spot on the U.S. team for the 1936 Summer Olympics in the decathlon.[9]

After he missed the Olympics cut, Berwanger and Bears' owner George Halas were unable to reach an agreement on salary; Berwanger was requesting $15,000 and Halas' final offer was $13,500.[10] Instead, he took a job with a Chicago rubber company and also became a part-time coach at the University of Chicago.[11] Berwanger later expressed regret that he did not accept Halas' offer.[10]

Later life and honors

After graduating, Berwanger worked briefly as a sportswriter and later became a manufacturer of plastic car parts. He was very modest about the Heisman Trophy; unsure what to do with the trophy, he left it with his aunt Gussie, who used it as a doorstop.[3] The trophy was later bequeathed to the University of Chicago Athletic Hall of Fame, where it is on display. There is also a replica of the Heisman on display in the trophy case in the Nora Gymnasium at Dubuque Senior High School. He is a member of both the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame and Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.

Berwanger died after a lengthy battle with lung cancer at his home in Oak Brook, Illinois, on June 26, 2002, at the age of 88.[12]


  1. ^ http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1954/10/03/page/124/article/whats-that-referee-up-to
  2. ^ "Jay Berwanger, Chicago Halfback, Voted Outstanding Athlete in the Big Ten". The New London Day. December 6, 1935. p. 21. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Chicago legend passes on; Berwanger dies at age 88". University of Chicago Chronicle. July 11, 2002. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  4. ^ "Heisman Trophy – Jay Berwanger – Heisman Winners". heismantrophy.com. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "University of Chicago Men's Track & Field Honor Rolls". Athletics.uchicago.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  6. ^ "The first NFL draft takes place in Philadelphia in 1936". Chicago Tribune. February 10, 1936. p. 16. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  7. ^ "Chicago Bears Granted Option on Jay Berwanger". Milwaukee Journal. February 10, 1936. p. D4. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  8. ^ "Outstanding Pro Linemen Coming Here With Eagles". Reading Eagle. October 29, 1936. p. 24. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  9. ^ "Berwanger is Seeking Berth on Olympic Track Team". The Youngstown Daily Vindicator. Associated Press. December 11, 1935. p. 12. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Kirksey, George (December 11, 1940). "Halas Dominates Pro Football League". Berkeley Daily Gazette. United Press International. p. 23. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  11. ^ "Jay Berwanger to Coach at Chicago". The Daily News. June 29, 1936. p. 6. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  12. ^ "Berwanger, first winner of Heisman Trophy, dies". Lewiston Morning Tribune. June 28, 2002. p. 2B. Retrieved May 10, 2011.

External links

(13) Jay Berwanger played at Dubuque (IA) Senior H.S. (Source: http://www.encyclopediadubuque.org/index.php?title=BERWANGER,_Jay ).

1933 All-Big Ten Conference football team

The 1933 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Big Ten Conference teams chosen by various selectors for the 1933 Big Ten Conference football season.

1934 All-Big Ten Conference football team

The 1934 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Big Ten Conference teams chosen by various selectors for the 1934 Big Ten Conference football season.

1934 Big Ten Conference football season

The 1934 Big Ten Conference football season was the 39th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1934 college football season.

The 1934 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team, under head coach Bernie Bierman, compiled an undefeated 8–0 record, won the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring offense (33.8 points per game), and was selected as the national champion by eight of the selectors recognized as official by the NCAA. Fullback Pug Lund received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the most valuable player of the Big Ten. Three Minnesota players were selected as consensus first-team All-Americans: Lund, end Frank Larson, and guard Bill Bevan.

The 1934 Illinois Fighting Illini football team, under head coach Robert Zuppke, compiled a 7–1 record and was ranked No. 4 under the Dickinson System. The lone setback was a 7-3 loss at Wisconsin. Halfback Bud Lindberg was selected as the team's most valuable player. Quarterback Jack Beynon was selected as a first-team All-Big Ten player.

The 1934 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, in the program's first year under Francis Schmidt, compiled a 7–1 record, led the Big Ten in scoring defense (4.3 points allowed per game), and was ranked No. 8 under the Dickinson System. Guard Regis Monahan and end Merle Wendt were selected as first-team All-Americans.

1935 All-Big Ten Conference football team

The 1935 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Big Ten Conference teams chosen by various selectors for the 1935 Big Ten Conference football season.

1935 Big Ten Conference football season

The 1935 Big Ten Conference football season was the 40th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1935 college football season.

The 1935 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team, under head coach Bernie Bierman, compiled an undefeated 8–0 record, outscored opponents, 194 to 36, and has been recognized as the 1935 national champion by seven of the 13 selectors recognized as official by the NCAA. Tackle Ed Widseth was a consensus, first-team All-American.

The 1935 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Francis Schmidt, compiled a 7–1 record, tied with Minnesota for the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring offense (29.6 points per game), and outscored opponents, 237 to 57. Ohio State's sole loss was to Notre Dame by an 18-13 score. Center Gomer Jones was a consensus, first-team All-American.

Chicago Maroons halfback Jay Berwanger was the first recipient of the Heisman Trophy, received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten's most valuable player, and was the first player selected in the 1936 NFL Draft.

1935 Chicago Maroons football team

The 1935 Chicago Maroons football team was an American football team that represented the University of Chicago in the Big Ten Conference (Big Ten) during the 1935 college football season. In their third season under head coach Clark Shaughnessy, the Maroons compiled a 4–4 record (2–3 against Big Ten opponents), finished in sixth place in the Big Ten, and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 110 to 102.In December 1935, Chicago halfback Jay Berwanger became the first recipient of a trophy from the Downtown Athletic Club intended to honor "the most valuable player east of the Mississippi." John Heisman was then the club's athletic director, and after Heisman's death in October 1936 the trophy was expanded to become a national honor and named the Heisman Trophy.

1935 College Football All-America Team

The 1935 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1935. The nine selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1935 season are (1) Collier's Weekly, as selected by Grantland Rice, (2) the Associated Press (AP), (3) the United Press (UP), (4) the All-America Board (AAB), (5) the International News Service (INS), (6) Liberty magazine, (7) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), (8) the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), and (9) the Sporting News (SN).

Jay Berwanger of Chicago was one of two unanimous All-American selections. Berwanger was also the first recipient of the Heisman Trophy and the first player selected in the first NFL Draft.Bobby Grayson of Stanford was the other unanimous All-American. He was one of Stanford's "Vow Boys," a group of freshmen players who vowed after a 1932 loss to the University of Southern California that they would never lose to the Trojans when they made the varsity team. The group kept their promise, defeating USC three straight years and becoming the first team in college football history to play in three consecutive Rose Bowl games. Other "Vow Boys" who made the 1935 All-American team include Monk Moscrip and Bob Reynolds.

Bob Wilson of SMU received eight official first-team designations, and Jac Weller of Princeton received seven. The 1935 All-Americans also included two players who went on to Hall of Fame careers as coaches. Bear Bryant was named a third-team All-American at the end position by the NEA, and Bud Wilkinson of the University of Minnesota was named a second-team All-American by the UP and a third-team selection by the NEA and the Central Press Association.

1935 college football season

The 1935 college football season was the last one before the Associated Press writers' poll was used in selecting the national champion. The Dickinson System, consisting of the calculations of University of Illinois Professor Frank Dickinson, crowned Southern Methodist University (SMU) as the best in the nation. A poll of newspaper writers, taken at year's end—by United Press rather than the AP—concluded that Minnesota was the best in the nation.

The 1935 season also marked the first time the Heisman Trophy was awarded. It was won by Jay Berwanger of Chicago. Halfback Ray Zeh of Case Western Reserve led the nation in scoring.

1936 NFL Draft

The 1936 National Football League Draft was the first draft of the National Football League (NFL). It took place on February 8, 1936, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The draft was instituted in an effort to end bidding wars among the league's teams by the arbitrary assignment of negotiating rights to amateur players. It was haphazardly decided that the last place team from the previous season would get the first selection, and the process would continue in reverse order of the standings. Under this structure the Philadelphia Eagles, who finished 1935 at 2–9, would select first.This was the only draft to have nine rounds; the number increased to ten for the 1937 draft. The first player ever drafted, Jay Berwanger, who had previously been awarded the initial Heisman Trophy, never played in the NFL. His rights were traded by the Philadelphia Eagles to the Chicago Bears, as the Eagles felt they would be unable to meet Berwanger's reported demand of $1000 per game. The Eagles received tackle Art Buss from the Bears in exchange for Berwanger's rights. George Halas was unable to convince Berwanger to sign with the Bears. Riley Smith, the second pick, was the first player drafted to play in the NFL.

1936 NFL season

The 1936 NFL season was the 17th regular season of the National Football League. For the first time since the league was founded, there were no team transactions; neither a club folded nor did a new one join the NFL. 1936 was also the first year in which all league teams played the same number of games. Since this season, the number of scheduled regular season games per team has been:

11 until 1942 and in 1946

10 from 1943 to 1945

12 from 1947 to 1960

14 from 1961 to 1977

16 since 1978The season ended when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Boston Redskins in the NFL Championship Game. For the only time in NFL history, the team with the home field advantage declined to play at their own stadium and instead elected to play at a neutral site. Due to poor attendance, the Redskins moved the game from Boston to the Polo Grounds in New York City.

1936 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1936 Philadelphia Eagles season was their fourth in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous output of 2–9, winning only one game. Being shut out in six of their twelve games, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

Art Buss

Arthur T. Buss (July 14, 1911 – March 23, 1998) was a professional American football tackle in the National Football League. He played four seasons for the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles. Buss was traded by the Bears to the Eagles during the inaugural NFL Draft in exchange for first overall selection, Jay Berwanger.

Chicago Maroons football

The Chicago Maroons football represents the University of Chicago in college football. The Maroons, which play in NCAA Division III, are football-only member of the Midwest Conference starting with the 2017 season. The University of Chicago was a founding member of the Big Ten Conference and the Maroons were coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg for 41 seasons. In 1935, halfback Jay Berwanger became the first recipient of the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, later known as the Heisman Trophy. In the late 1930s, university president Robert Maynard Hutchins decided that big-time college football and the university's commitment to academics were not a good fit. The University of Chicago abolished its football program in 1939 and withdrew from the Big Ten in 1946. Football returned to the University of Chicago in 1963 in the form of a club team, which was upgraded to varsity status in 1969. The Maroons began competing in Division III in 1973.

Deaths in June 2002

The following is a list of notable deaths in June 2002.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), reason for notability, cause of death (if known), and reference.

Heisman Trophy

The Heisman Memorial Trophy (usually known colloquially as the Heisman Trophy or The Heisman), is awarded annually to a player in NCAA football. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. It is presented by the Heisman Trophy Trust in early December before the postseason bowl games.

The award was created by the Downtown Athletic Club in 1935 to recognize "the most valuable college football player east of the Mississippi," and was first awarded to University of Chicago halfback Jay Berwanger. After the death in October 1936 of the Club's athletic director, John Heisman, the award was named in his honor and broadened to include players west of the Mississippi. Heisman had been active in college athletics as a football player; a head football, basketball, and baseball coach; and an athletic director. It is the oldest of several overall awards in college football, including the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and the AP Player of the Year. The Heisman and the AP Player of the Year honor the most outstanding player, while the Maxwell and the Walter Camp award recognizes the best player, and the Archie Griffin Award recognizes the most valuable player. The most recent winner of the Heisman Trophy is University of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.

Iowa Sports Hall of Fame

The Iowa Sports Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Des Moines Register, honors outstanding athletes and sports contributors. To be eligible, members must have either been born in Iowa or gained prominence while competing for a college or university in Iowa.

Leighton Housh, former executive sports editor of the Register, established the Hall of Fame in 1951. Twenty-four athletes were chosen in the inaugural class. The Hall of Fame now includes more than 170 athletes from 20 sports. Inductees are chosen by veteran members of the Register's sports department.

List of Heisman Trophy winners

The Heisman Trophy, one of the highest individual awards in American college football, has been awarded 81 times since its creation in 1935, including 79 unique winners and one two-time winner. The trophy is given annually to the most outstanding college football player in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and is awarded by the Heisman Trust, successors of the awards from the Downtown Athletic Club at an annual ceremony at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square, Manhattan.

In 1935, the award, then known as the DAC Trophy, was created by New York City's Downtown Athletic Club to recognize the best college football player "east of the Mississippi River". In that inaugural year, the award went to Jay Berwanger from the University of Chicago. Berwanger was later drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League but declined to sign for them. He never played professional football for any team, instead choosing to pursue a career in business. In 1936, the club's athletic director, football pioneer John Heisman, died and the trophy was renamed in his honor. Larry Kelley, the second winner of the award, was the first to win it as the "Heisman Trophy". In addition to the name change, the award also became a nationwide achievement. With the new name, players west of the Mississippi became eligible; the first player from the western United States was selected in 1938. Only one player, Ohio State's Archie Griffin, has won the award twice.On June 10, 2010, following several years of investigation, the NCAA announced that USC running back Reggie Bush, the 2005 Heisman trophy winner, received gifts from agents while still in college. The university received major sanctions, and there were reports that the Heisman Trophy Trust would strip his award. In September of that year, Bush voluntarily forfeited his title as the 2005 winner. The Heisman Trust decided to leave the award vacated with no new winner to be announced.Between 1936 and 2001, the award was given at an annual gala ceremony at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City. The Downtown Athletic Club's facilities were damaged during the September 11, 2001 attacks. Due to financial difficulties stemming from the damage, the DAC declared bankruptcy in 2002, turning over its building to creditors. Following the club's bankruptcy and the loss of the original Downtown Athletic Club building, the Yale Club of New York City assumed presenting honors in 2002 and 2003. The ceremony was moved to the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square for the 2002, 2003, and 2004 presentations, but since 2005, the event has been held at the venue now known as PlayStation Theater, also in Times Square. The move to the PlayStation Theater allowed the Downtown Athletic Club (and ultimately, the award's successor, The Heisman Trust) to resume full control of the event—the most prominent example of which was the return of the official portraits of past winners—despite the loss of the original presentation hall.In terms of balloting, the fifty states of the U.S. are split into six regions (Far West, Mid Atlantic, Mid West, North East, South, South West), and six regional representatives are selected to appoint voters in their states. Each region has 145 media votes, for a total of 870 votes. In addition, all previous Heisman winners may vote, and one final vote is counted through public balloting. The Heisman ballots contain a 3-2-1 point system, in which each ballot ranks the voter's top three players and awards them three points for a first-place daddy vote, two points for a second-place vote, and one point for a third-place vote. The points are tabulated, and the player with the highest total of points across all ballots wins the Heisman Trophy.

List of Philadelphia Eagles first-round draft picks

The Philadelphia Eagles, a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, joined the National Football League (NFL) in 1933 as a replacement team for the Frankford Yellow Jackets, after the Yellow Jackets went bankrupt and ceased operations. After the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, the Eagles were moved to the current NFC East division. Every April, each NFL franchise adds new players to its roster through a collegiate draft at the "NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting", more commonly known as the NFL Draft. Teams are ranked in inverse order based on their previous season's records, with the worst record picking first, the second-worst picking second, and so on. Two exceptions to this order are made for teams that played in the previous Super Bowl: the Super Bowl champion picks last (32nd), and the Super Bowl loser picks next to last (31st). Teams often trade their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or combinations thereof; thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from its assigned pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in a particular round.The Eagles' first selection as an NFL team was Jay Berwanger, a running back from University of Chicago. The Eagles have selected number one overall three times, including Berwanger in 1936, Sam Francis in 1937, and Chuck Bednarik in 1949, second overall five times, and third overall three times. Three eventual Hall of Famers have been selected by the Eagles: Steve Van Buren, Bednarik, and Bob Brown. The team's most recent first-round choice was Derek Barnett, a defensive end from The University of Tennessee.

William Shakespeare (American football)

William Valentine "Bill" Shakespeare (September 27, 1912 – January 17, 1974) was an American football player. He played at the halfback position, and also handled punting, for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football teams from 1933 to 1935. He gained his greatest acclaim for throwing the winning touchdown pass as time ran off the clock in Notre Dame's 1935 victory over Ohio State, a game that was voted the best game in the first 100 years of college football. Shakespeare was selected as a consensus first-team All-American in 1935 and was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Sharing the same name as "The Bard of Avon", Shakespeare earned nicknames including "The Bard of Staten Island", "The Bard of South Bend", and "The Merchant of Menace."

Jay Berwanger—awards and honors

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