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Johnsos, Luke, 1905-1984



  • Existence: 1905 - 1984


Luke Andrew Johnsos, was born on December 9, 1905, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Hans Johnsos and Minnie Jacobsen Johnsos. Johnsos graduated from Chicago’s Carl A. Schurz High School in 1924 before matriculating to Northwestern University that same year, enrolling in Northwestern’s School of Commerce. After experiencing athletic success at Schurz, Johnsos participated in sports at Northwestern, becoming as one of the most talented all-around athletes in the school’s history. He earned a total of seven letters in football, basketball, and baseball, and was the only Northwestern athlete to receive letters in three different sports in 1928. Johnsos was highly regarded for his play as an end on the Wildcat football team; his outstanding work earning him a spot on the Eastern All-Star Football team that faced the Western All-Stars in San Francisco in 1927. Additionally, he played shortstop for the Northwestern baseball team during the 1927 and 1928 seasons, leading the Big Ten in home runs and serving as team captain in 1928. He also served as a guard on the 1927 and 1928 Wildcat basketball teams. Aside from athletics, Johnsos was involved in student activities, joining Northwestern’s Rho Chapter of Beta Theta Pi social fraternity; the Men’s Athletic Association Executive Board; and Delta Sigma Pi, a School of Commerce professional fraternity.

In 1929, Johnsos was signed to the Chicago Bears football team because his roommate and Northwestern teammate, Walt Holmer, refused to play with the Bears unless they signed Johnsos as well. Ironically, Holmer was traded after two weeks, while Johnsos remained as a player in Chicago for seven years. As a Bear, he led the team in receiving in 1932 and in 1935 and was twice selected to all-league teams. In 1935 Johnsos became a player-coach under George Halas. Johnsos served, for four seasons beginning in 1942, while Halas fulfilled his wartime duties, as co-head coach with Heartly “Hunk” Anderson and Paddy Driscoll. Johnsos and his colleagues led the Bears to divisional championships in 1942 and 1943.

Johnsos remained a coach with the Bears until 1968. During his career he pioneered a new way of coaching from the press box, an innovation quickly embraced across the National Football League. When not coaching, Johnsos served as President of the Johnsos-Coppock printing company. He died December 10, 1984, survived at that time by his wife, Rosemary, their five children, and 15 grandchildren.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Luke A. Johnsos (1905-1984) Collection

Identifier: 31/6/143
Abstract While a student at Northwestern University (beginning in 1924), Luke A. Johnsons earned a total of seven letters in football, basketball, and baseball. He played football for the Chicago Bears, becoming player-coach, and serving as co-head coadh during World War II. He remained with the Bears until 1968. He pioneered a new way of coaching from the press box, becoming known as the "Press Box Quarterback." Johnsos also served as President of the Johnsos-Coppock printing company. This...
Dates: 1926 - 2011