Jay Berwanger

John Jay Berwanger ( born March 19, 1914 in Dubuque, Iowa, † June 26, 2002 in Oak Brook, Illinois), nicknamed " The Flying Dutchman " was a US- American football player and coach.

Playing career


Berwanger played on the position of the half -backs, kick-off Returners and the linebackers and was a star player at the University of Chicago under Amos Alonzo Stagg head coach. In 24 games as a halfback Berwanger scored 22 touchdowns. An opponent of Berwanger was the future U.S. President Gerald Ford, who in a tackle by Berwanger drew upon a bleeding laceration and still praise expressed about misconduct.

Professional career

In the first NFL Draft 1936 he was selected as the first player from the Philadelphia Eagles, but then passed his draft rights to the Chicago Bears. Berwanger demanded a $ 25,000 contract for two years, what the Bears refused. Berwanger never played professionally in the National Football League ( NFL).

Coaching career

From 1936 to 1939 Berwanger was one of the coaches of the Chicago Maroons, the football team of the University of Chicago. The team was disbanded in 1940 and re-erected in 1962. Berwanger then took on no more coaching positions.


Berwanger was 1935 winner of the first Heisman Trophy. The trophy is modeled after a photo of him. In 1954, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Berwanger is also a member of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame and in the University of Chicago Athletics Hall of Fame.

After the career

Berwanger was after his playing career first sports journalist while he acted the same time as a football coach. During World War II he served as an officer in the Navy and there formed pilots in instrument flight. Later, Berwanger became a successful entrepreneur. His company produces plastic parts for the automotive industry. Berwanger was married twice and had by his first wife two sons and a daughter. He died at the age of 88 from lung cancer and is buried in Oak Brook.