Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski

In 1930, George Halas and co-owner Dutch Sternaman of the Chicago Bears hired Ralph Jones, who was athletic director at Lake Forest Academy, to coach the Bears.  Jones made innovative adjustments to the Bears’ offense that gave the team a more mobile attack.  The Bears also added University of Minnesota standout, Bronko Nagurski, who gave the team one of the greatest power-runners of all time as well as a bone-crushing tackler and a terrific blocker.  With Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski, and several other excellent players on the roster, the Bears were a formidable power.  

Bronko Nagurski was a one-of-a-kind fullback and linebacker who played in the 1930s.  “Bronk” had the size, strength, and speed of modern fullbacks coupled with the toughness of a freight train.  Like many players of the Era, he played both side of the ball. He was what the media would call a complete player. On offense, sometimes Nagurski would also throw a jump-pass--he would fake the run, pedal backwards, jump for a clear view of the receiver, and throw. He later became a professional wrestler.  He was a professional athlete for three decades.  
If you are every up by International Falls, Minnesota, you might like to visit the Bronko Nagurski Museum at 214 6th Avenue.  The museum is attached to the Koochiching Historical Museum.  Nagurski never moved from the area. He farmed on property his family had owned and ran a gas station. His family donated much of his memorabilia to the museum after his death. 

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