John Lujack Wins Heisman Trophy
Lujack was considered one of the greatest T-formation collegiate quarterbacks of all times.
Filling in for Angelo Bertelli, who went into the Marines in 1943, he quarterbacked a 26-0 victory over the previously unbeaten Army Cadets. This star quarterback gained 2,080 yards for the Irish in three years and achieved a marvelous passing record of 144 completions out of 282 throws. His accurate arm accounted for many of Notre Dame's 24 victories while at the Golden Dome. In his three seasons at Notre Dame, 1943 and then after military service in 1946 and 1947, the Irish were National Champions. After graduation, Lujack went to the Chicago Bears and played for four years. He was named All-Pro on defense in 1948 and All-Pro on offense in 1950, and in 1949 he established a new NFL passing record of 468 yards and 6 touchdowns in one game against the Chicago Cardinals in a spectacular 52-21 victory. For two years ('52-'53) he served as Notre Dame backfield coach under Frank Leahy, coaching John Lattner, the '53 Heisman winner. Lujack resides in Davenport, Iowa in the summers and Indian Wells, California during the winters, where he spends his free time golfing.
John was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1960.
Lujack, who lettered in four sports at Notre Dame (football, baseball, basketball and track), won in the East, South and Far West, with Walker winning in the Southwest and Chappuis in the Midwest. Swiacki earned national fame for his circus catch at Baker Field in New York when Columbia ended Army's long winning streak.
John Christopher Lujack Jr. (pronounced Lu' jack) is a former American football quarterback and 1947 Heisman Trophy winner.
Lujack was born on January 4, 1925, in the Pittsburgh suburb of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. 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. He now lives in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Lujack served as a color commentator on CBS NFL telecasts for a number of years in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and on ABC college football telecasts in the late 1960s.
School: Notre Dame
High School: Connellsville, PA (Connellsville HS)
Years: 1943, 1946-1947
Place of Birth: Connellsville, PA
Date of Birth: 1/4/1925
Jersey Number: 32
Notre Dame in 1943, won its first six games by a combined score of 261-31. Angelo Bertelli was the quarterback, and on the basis of those six games he would win the 1943 Heisman Trophy. But after the sixth game Bertelli and certain other Notre Dame players were called to active duty with the Marine Corps in World War II. John Lujack was Bertelli's replacement at quarterback. He led Notre Dame to important victories over Army 26-0 and Iowa Preflight 14-13, clinching the national championship. In the school year of 1943-44, Lujack also lettered in basketball, baseball, and track. He was the first 4-sport letterman at Notre Dame since 1912. After duty in the war, Lujack returned as Notre Dame quarterback in 1946-47. Notre Dame went 17-0-1 in that period and won two national championships. Lujack was unanimous All- America two years and won the Heisman in 1947. He also played defensive halfback. In 1946, he tackled Doc Blanchard, cutting off a sure Army touchdown, in a game that ended 0-0. His passing totals at Notre Dame 1946-47 included 14 touchdowns and 1569 yards. Lujack played for Chicago Bears 1948-51. Against the Chicago Cardinals in 1948, he threw six touchdown passes.