Johnny Lujack

John Christopher Lujack Jr.[1] (pronounced Lu' jack; born January 4, 1925) is a former American football quarterback and 1947 Heisman Trophy winner. He played college football for the University of Notre Dame, and professionally for the Chicago Bears. Lujack was the first of several successful quarterbacks who hailed from Western Pennsylvania. Others include Pro Football Hall of Fame members Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Joe Montana and George Blanda.

Johnny Lujack
Lujack on a 1948 Bowman football card, wearing jersey No. 32, posing as if attempting a pass
Lujack on a 1948 Bowman football card
No. 32
Position:Quarterback / defensive back
Personal information
Born:January 4, 1925 (age 94)
Connellsville, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:186 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school:Connellsville (PA)
College:Notre Dame
NFL Draft:1946 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Pass att/cmp:404/808
Passing yards:6,295
Rushing yards:742
Rushing touchdowns:21
Player stats at PFR

Early life and college career

Lujack was born to Alice and John, Sr.,[2] in 1925 in Connellsville, Pennsylvania,[3] the youngest of four sons and fifth child in a family of six children.[3] The family is of Polish descent and included older siblings Valentine ("Val"), Stanley ("Stan"), Victoria, Aloysius ("Allie"), and younger sister Dolores.[2][4][1][3][5] His father, John, Sr., worked for the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad for thirty years as a boiler-maker.[5]

He was on the Connellsville High School football team from 1939 to 1941, and was also senior class president and valedictorian.[6] He lettered in four sports; baseball, football, basketball, and track, in high school.[2][7]

His 1941 high school team, named the Cokers for workers in the coal milling industry who feed the ovens, went 8–0–1, but did not get to play for the WPIAL league championship because their last game, with Brownsville, ended in a 13–13 tie.[8]

People in Connellsville had wanted him to go to the United States Military Academy (Army) at West Point, going so far as to ask their local congressman for an appointment, but Lujack, a fan of Notre Dame from listening to their football radio broadcasts, had his heart set on playing in South Bend.[9][10] He was the first Connellsville High School student to receive an appointment to Army.[2]

Lujack attended Notre Dame, where he was given a scholarship by Frank Leahy, from 1942 to 1943 and then 1946 to 1947. His career was interrupted for two years by World War II after his sophomore season, where he served an officer in the United States Navy. His time in the Navy was spent hunting German submarines in the English Channel as an ensign.[9][10]

When he returned from the Atlantic (ETO) duty he appeared on the cover of the September 29, 1947, issue of LIFE.[11] He led the 1947 Fighting Irish to 9–0 record for his senior year, where he completed 61 passes on 109 attempts for 777 yards and also ran 139 yards on 12 carries, and won the Heisman Trophy.[8] As he had in high school, he once again received varsity letters (called "monograms") in four sports (again baseball, football, basketball, and track) while at Notre Dame, becoming the third person to do so.[9] He was a two-time unanimous All-American (1946 and 1947) and led Notre Dame to three national championships (1943, 1946 and 1947).[12][13] And, in addition to winning the Heisman, he was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year.[10]

Professional career

He was paid USD$17,000 for his 1948 rookie season with the Bears and $20,000 for his fourth and final season.[8] In his rookie season he played defensive back where he had 8 interceptions for 131 yards and kicked 44 out of 46 extra points.[8][14]

In the summer of 1949 he starred in a radio program on ABC, The Adventures of Johnny Lujack, which was a summertime replacement for the Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy show. It was a 30-minute program and broadcast on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.[15] The show was broadcast from the studios of WGN in Chicago over the Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS) and ran for 13 weeks.[16]

In the final game of the 1949 season, the 9–3 Bears defeated their hometown rivals, the Chicago Cardinals (6–5–1), by a score of 52–21 on December 11. In that game Lujack threw six touchdown passes and set an NFL record with 468 passing yards.[17][18] The record was broken later by Norm Van Brocklin.

His wife is the former Patricia Ann "Pat" Schierbrock, daughter of Josephine (née Wilson) and Frank H. Schierbrock.[19] Lujack and Schierbrock were married in Davenport, Iowa at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on June 26, 1949.[12][20] They have three children:[21] Mary, Jeff, and Carol (1954–2002).[22]

Sid Luckman and George Blanda played behind Lujack in the rotation at quarterback for the 1949 and 1950 seasons.[23][24]

During the 1950 season, Lujack set an NFL record with 11 rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. This record was tied by Tobin Rote with the Green Bay Packers in 1956, and broken by the New England Patriot's Steve Grogan in 1976.[25][26] Lujack, named to the 1950 All-Pro First Team, also set a Bears record for 109 total points in a season with 11 touchdowns, 3 (out of 5) field-goals, and 34 (out of 35) extra points.[27] That record was surpassed by Gale Sayers in 1965 with 123 total points.[28]

Post-playing career

After four years with the Bears he returned to Notre Dame as an assistant coach for 1952 and 1953 to repay Frank Leahy as a debt of gratitude for having given him a scholarship to Notre Dame.[6][8] Leahy wanted Lujack to succeed him as the head coach of the Fighting Irish, but Terry Brennan was chosen instead by Reverend Theodore Hesburgh, the university president.[29]

In 1954, he then went into the car dealership business with his father-in-law, at Lujack Schierbrock Chevrolet Company of Davenport, Iowa.[6][30] He sold his dealership interest to his son-in-law in 1988.[31]

Lujack served as a television color commentator for several years, teaming with Chris Schenkel to call New York Giants games on CBS from 1958 to 1961.[21][32][33] However, in 1962 when Ford signed on as a major sponsor and learned that Lujack was a Chevrolet dealer, he was replaced by Pat Summerall.[33][34] He also worked with Jim McKay on CBS doing college football and on ABC college football telecasts in the late 1960s.

On June 8, 1978, Lujack was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2005, he donated $50,000 to Connellsville High School toward a new field house for the football stadium.[6] It was later named Johnny Lujack Field House.[6] The Johnny Lujack Training Facility was formally dedicated in 2009 and he was also inducted into the inaugural class of the Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame.[10]

He is the oldest living Heisman Trophy winner.[35]



Year Comp Att Comp % Passing TD
1946 49 100 49.0 778 6
1947 61 109 56.0 777 9


Year Team G GS Att Comp Yds TD Int Lng QB record
1948 CHI 9 3 66 36 611 6 3 64
1949 CHI 12 7 312 162 2658 23 22 81
1950 CHI 12 12 254 121 1731 4 21 70 9–3–0
1951 CHI 12 6 176 85 1295 8 8 78 4–2–0
Career[36] 45 28 808 404 6295 41 54 81 13–5–0


  1. ^ a b Johnson, Rafer (2009), Great Athletes, Salem Press, p. 278, ISBN 978-1-58765-473-2
  2. ^ a b c d Markoe, Arnie, ed. (2002), The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives: Sports Figures, Volume 2, C. Scribner's Sons, p. 79, ISBN 978-0-684-80665-5
  3. ^ a b c Current Biography Yearbook: Volumes 1-31, H.W. Wilson Company, 1948, p. 404
  4. ^ Luczak. - Connellsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania. - 1930 United States Census. - United States Census Bureau.
  5. ^ a b Silverman, Al (1971), The Best of Sport, 1946-1971, Viking Press, p. 22
  6. ^ a b c d e Kroeger, Judy (September 20, 2005), "Football great donates $50,000 for new field house", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, The Daily Courier (Connellsville)
  7. ^ "Life's Cover", LIFE: 29, September 29, 1947
  8. ^ a b c d e White, Mike (September 14, 1994), "Johnny Marching Home for Connellsville Honor", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p. D-1,D-5
  9. ^ a b c Pennington, Bill (2004), The Heisman: Great American Stories of the Men who Won, HarperCollins, pp. 92, 94, ISBN 978-0-06-055471-2
  10. ^ a b c d Dvorchak, Robert (July 14, 2009), "Lujack heads inaugural class", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  11. ^ "Life's Cover", LIFE, Time, Inc.: (front cover), September 29, 1947, ISSN 0024-3019
  12. ^ a b "Milestones", TIME, July 5, 1948
  13. ^ Marder, Keith; Mark Spellen; Jim Donovan (2001), The Notre Dame Football Encyclopedia, p. 128
  14. ^ "Johnny Lujack",, Sports Reference LLC.
  15. ^ "'Lujack' Replaces 'Jack Armstrong'", Billboard, June 4, 1949
  16. ^ Federal Communications Commission reports, 32, Federal Communications Commission (printed by United States Government Printing Office), 1962, p. 1003
  17. ^ Warren, Harry (December 12, 1949), "Lujack Sets Mark in 52-21 Rout of Cards", Chicago Tribune, p. C1
  18. ^ "Chicago Cardinals 21 at Chicago Bears 52",, Sports Reference LLC., December 11, 1949
  19. ^ Curtis, Georgina Pell; Elder, Benedict (eds.), The American Catholic Who's Who, 14, Romig, Walter, p. 410
  20. ^ "Miss Schierbrock and Lujack Married In Davenport Church", Chicago Daily Tribune, p. A3, June 27, 1948
  21. ^ a b Markoe. - p.74.
  22. ^ quad cities times May 30, 2002
  23. ^ "1949 Chicago Bears",, Sports Reference LLC.
  24. ^ "1950 Chicago Bears",, Sports Reference LLC.
  25. ^ "Patriots 27, Saints 6", Telegraph Herald, United Press International, p. 13, December 5, 1976
  26. ^ Bedard, Greg A. (December 4, 2011), "Grogan reflects on his record-setting feet", The Boston Globe, The New York Times Company and
  27. ^ "Walker, Geri, Motley, Fears Unanimous All-pro Choices", The New London Evening Day, Associated Press, December 28, 1950
  28. ^ "Sayers Awarded Game Ball for 2d Time", The Boston Globe, p. 25, December 13, 1965
  29. ^ Davis, Jeff (2006), Papa Bear: The Life and Legacy of George Halas, McGraw-Hill Professional, p. 240, ISBN 978-0-07-147741-3
  30. ^ Motor volume 116, publisher Hearst Corp., 1961, page 44
  31. ^ Pennington. - p.96.
  32. ^ Adams, Val (July 22, 1956), "TV-Radio Notes", The New York Times
  33. ^ a b Davis, Jeff (2007), Rozelle: Czar of the NFL, McGraw-Hill Professional, p. 133, ISBN 978-0-07-147166-4
  34. ^ Summerall, Pat (2006), Summerall: On and Off the Air, Thomas Nelson, p. 81, ISBN 978-0-7852-1492-2
  35. ^ "Where Are They Now? Heisman Trophy Edition". Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  36. ^ "Johnny Lujack Stats -".

External links

1946 College Football All-America Team

The 1946 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 1946. The nine selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1946 season are (1) the All-America Board (AAB), (2) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), published by Look magazine, (3) the Associated Press (AP), (4) Collier's Weekly, as selected by Grantland Rice, (5) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), (6) the International News Service (INS), (7) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), (8) the Sporting News (SN), and (9) the United Press (UP).

1947 Big Nine Conference football season

The 1947 Big Nine Conference football season was the 52nd season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Nine Conference (also known as the Western Conference and the Big Ten Conference) and was a part of the 1947 college football season.

The 1947 Big Ten champion was Michigan. The Wolverines compiled a perfect 10–0 record, outscored its opponents by a combined total of 394 to 53, and defeated the USC Trojans by a score of 49 to 0 in the 1948 Rose Bowl game.

Michigan halfback Bob Chappuis led the conference with 1,395 yards of total offense, which was also the fourth best in the country. Chappuis also finished second in the voting for the 1947 Heisman Trophy, trailing Johnny Lujack by a tally of 742 votes to 555 votes, with both finishing ahead of Doak Walker and Bobby Layne.Wisconsin finished in second place in the conference, led by sophomore halfback Jug Girard. Girard, a triple-threat man who also returned two punts for touchdowns, was the first conference player selected in the 1948 NFL Draft, being chosen by the Green Bay Packers with the seventh pick in the first round.

1947 College Football All-America Team

The 1947 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 1947. The eight selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1947 season are (1) , the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), (2) the Associated Press (AP), (3) Collier's Weekly, as selected by Grantland Rice, (4) the Football Writers Association of America (FW), (5) the International News Service (INS), (6) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), (7) the Sporting News (SN), and (8) the United Press (UP). Other selectors include the Central Press Association (CP) and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WC).

Notre Dame quarterback Johnny Lujack and Michigan halfback Bob Chappuis were the only two players unanimously named by all eight official selectors as first-team All-Americans. Lujack and Chappuis also finished first and second in the 1947 Heisman Trophy voting.

1950 All-Pro Team

The 1950 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1950 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), and the New York Daily News.

1950 NFL playoffs

The 1950 National Football League playoffs took place after the 1950 regular season ended with a tie for first place in both the American and National conferences. The ties forced one-game playoffs to determine who would play in the NFL championship game. It was the only time in the NFL's championship-game era that two such tiebreaker playoff games were needed in the same year. The Cleveland Browns and New York Giants tied for first place in the American Conference, while the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams tied for first place in the National Conference. The Browns proceeded to beat the Giants 8–3, and the Rams beat the Bears 24–14 in their playoff game. Cleveland then beat the Rams in the championship game the following week.

Playing their first year in the NFL after four years in the rival All-America Football Conference, the Browns battled with the Giants for the lead in the American Conference for most of the regular season. Cleveland ended with a 10–2 win–loss record, having lost its only two games against the Giants. The Giants, meanwhile, lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Cardinals. In the National Conference, the Bears and Rams were also near the top of the standings in the second half of the 12-game season, and both ended with 9–3 records.

The Browns and Giants and the Rams and Bears played their playoff games on December 17. In Cleveland against the Giants, the Browns won a low-scoring game in freezing conditions on two field goals by placekicker Lou Groza and a late-game safety. The Rams beat the Bears in 92-degree heat in Los Angeles, thanks largely to a strong performance by quarterback Bob Waterfield, who threw three touchdowns to end Tom Fears. The results set up a championship matchup between the Browns and Rams. The Browns won the game 30–28 on a Groza field goal with 28 seconds to play.

1954 Sugar Bowl

The 1954 Sugar Bowl matched the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 20th edition of the Sugar Bowl.

1958 Orange Bowl

The 1958 Orange Bowl matched the Duke Blue Devils and the Oklahoma Sooners, played in Miami, Florida, on New Year's Day.

1965 Gator Bowl (December)

The 1965 Gator Bowl (December) was a college football postseason bowl game that featured the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

American Football League on ABC

American Football League (AFL) on ABC was a television program that broadcast professional football games of the then fledgling (when compared to the more established National Football League) American Football League on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). ABC broadcast AFL games from the league's very first season in 1960 until the 1964 season, when NBC took over as the league's primary network television broadcaster.

Bill Wade

William James "Bill" Wade (October 4, 1930 – March 9, 2016) was an American football quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL). He is considered one of the greatest athletes in Nashville and Vanderbilt University history. Wade is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. He is best known for being the starting quarterback on the Chicago Bears' 1963 NFL championship team.

Wade played for Vanderbilt University. He was named the Southeastern Conference's (SEC) Most Valuable Player and a second-team All-American. He was named MVP of the 1951 North–South Shrine Game in Miami. Wade also played in the Senior Bowl of 1952 and was selected to play in the College All-Star Game in Chicago.

He was the first player selected in the 1952 NFL draft, by the Los Angeles Rams.

Quarterbacking the Rams for seven seasons, Wade's best year personally was 1958, when he led the NFL in passing yards with 2,875. He was traded to the Bears in 1961 with teammates Del Shofner and John Guzik for two players and a draft pick. Wade topped the league in 1962 in pass completions and attempts, and threw for 466 yards on Nov 11 in Dallas, second in franchise history to Johnny Lujack (468) . He was the first Bear to record four games with 300+ passing yards in a season. In 1963, he led Chicago to the 1963 NFL Championship Game, scoring both Bears touchdowns on two 5-yard drives after turnovers in a 14–10 victory over the New York Giants in a game played in freezing weather conditions at Wrigley Field.

Wade was named to the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class.Following eye surgery for glaucoma, Wade became legally blind. In an interview with Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune on January 30, 2007, days before the Bears played in Super Bowl XLI in Miami Gardens, Florida, Wade said from his Nashville home, "I could get there for the game, but I can't see it." He added: "I've got a Bears cap on right now." He died on March 9, 2016 in Nashville.

Bob Williams (quarterback)

Robert Allen Williams (January 2, 1930 – May 26, 2016) was an American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL).

Dick Flanagan

Richard E. Flanagan (October 31, 1927 in Sidney, Ohio – September 27, 1997) was a National Football League center who played eight seasons. He also played RB in college and his first year with the Bears, LB until his last 2 years in the game, and OG also.

List of Army–Navy Game broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks and announcers who have broadcast the college football's Army–Navy Game throughout the years.

List of Chicago Bears starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Bears.

List of Notre Dame Fighting Irish starting quarterbacks

The following individuals have started games at quarterback for the University of Notre Dame football team, updated through the 2018 season.

The year of induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, if applicable, is designated alongside the respective player's final season.

List of Playoff Bowl broadcasters

The Playoff Bowl (officially, the Bert Bell Benefit Bowl) was a post-season game for third place in the NFL, played ten times following the 1960-69 seasons. It was abandoned in favor of the current playoff structure with the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. The following is a list of the television networks and announcers that broadcast the Playoff Bowl during its existence.

Noah Mullins

Noah Walker Mullins (May 23, 1918 – October 31, 1998) was an American football running back, quarterback and defensive back in the National Football League. He played for the Chicago Bears and New York Giants. He played college football for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Steve Bradley (American football)

Steven Carl Bradley (born July 16, 1963) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. He played for the Chicago Bears. He played college football for the Indiana Hoosiers.


Łuczak is a Polish surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Czesław Łuczak (1922–2002), Polish historian

Jan-Marco Luczak (born 1975), German lawyer and politician

Jerzy Luczak-Szewczyk (1923-1975), Polish-Swedish painter, drawer and sculptor

Krystian Łuczak (born 1949), Polish politician

Krzysztof Łuczak (born 1975), Polish long jumper

Mieczysław Marcin Łuczak (born 1955), Polish politician

Olivia Luczak (born 1981), Polish-German boxer

Peter Luczak (born 1979), Polish-Australian tennis player

Tomasz Łuczak, Polish mathematician

Wojciech Łuczak (born 1989), Polish footballerJohnny Lujack (Luczak) famous Polish American college and professional football player. Heissman Trophy winner.

Johnny Lujack—championships, awards, and honors

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