November 1913 became a special, unforgettable ride for the Notre Dame football program.
Lujack took over at quarterback for Notre Dame as a sophomore in 1943 when Angelo Bertelli joined the Marines -- and he ended up helping the Irish to three national titles and establishing a reputation as one of the great T-formation signalcallers in college football history. In his initial start versus Army in '43, he threw for two scores, ran for another and intercepted a pass in a 26-0 victory. He spent nearly three years of his own in the Navy but returned in time to earn consensus All-America honors as a junior and senior on Notre Dame teams in 1946 and '47 that did not lose a game. No slouch as a runner (he also played halfback as a sophomore), Lujack also punted -- and probably made his greatest individual play on defense. He preserved a scoreless tie in '46 between the second ranked Irish and top-ranked Army by making a touchdown-saving tackle of Cadet fullback Doc Blanchard from his defensive back position. As a junior, he finished third in the Heisman voting behind Army's Glenn Davis. As a senior, he earned the Associated Press male athlete of the year award. Lujack played four years with the Chicago Bears, leading the team in scoring each year, tying a record with eight interceptions as a rookie, throwing for a record 468 yards in one game in '49 and playing in the NFL Pro Bowl his last two seasons. An Irish backfield coach for two years following his retirement in '52, Lujack then ran an automobile dealership in Davenport, Iowa, until he retired in 1988. He was elected to the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1960. Lujack recently gave $200,000 to Notre Dame to establish an academic scholarship endowment.
1947 Heiman Voting
1. John Lujack, Notre Dame (742)
2. Bob Chappuis, Michigan (555)
3. Doak Walker, SMU (196)
4. Charley Conerly, Mississippi (186)
5. Harry Gilmer, Alabama (115)
6. Bobby Layne, Texas (74)
7. Chuck Bednarik, Penn (65)
8. Bill Swiacki, Columbia (61)