Bulldawgs Countdown to Kickoff 2015 – No 62

Home >

Bulldawgs Countdown to Kickoff 2015 – No 62

UGA legend and All-American, No.62, Charley Trippi. Photo courtesy of UGAAA. Edit by Bob Miller.
Photo courtesy of UGAAA. Edit by Bob Miller.
[su_spacer size=”40″] A Bulldawg legend and Hall of Famer is bringing us in at number 62 on the Bulldawgs countdown to kickoff 2015, Mr. Charley Trippi.

[su_spacer size=”20″] Coined as “the greatest college football player ever” by the late Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, Charles “Charley” Trippi played half-back and quarter back for the Bulldawgs varsity team in 1942 and 1945-1946. He was not a native of the Peach state, however, but was born on December 14, 1920 in Pittston, Pennsylvania. How did this fleet footed athlete find his way to the Classic City?
[su_spacer size=”40″] Charley Trippi grew up during the time of the Great Depression in the U.S., which lasted from 1929 to 1939. Times were difficult to say the least, even for college grads, and this is where our story must take a short detour. In that era, a gentleman by the name of Herald Hirsch, a former Bulldawg football player and graduate of the University of Georgia, was the general legal counsel for the Coca-Cola Company. In addition to his responsibilities at Coca-Cola, he also kept vigil over athletics at the university. It was a practice for the Coco-Cola Company to employee Bulldawg players during the summers, some of those players ended up making a life-long career at Coke.
[su_spacer size=”40″] One of these Coca-Cola Bulldawgs, Bill Ketran, ended up becoming a bottler up in eastern Pennsylvania approximately 8 miles from Charley Trippi’s hometown of Pittston. This is where our story comes back around to legendary number 62. Ketran took notice of Trippi’s athleticism and offered the young man a scholarship to play at Georgia. The rest they say is history.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Charley Trippi enrolled at Georgia in 1941 and played on the freshmen team at half-back, which he helped lead to an undefeated season. Freshmen at that time were ineligible to play with the varsity collegiate teams; therefore, most schools also played a junior varsity schedule. Charley Trippi’s first action on the varsity team came in 1942 along side Heisman and All-American Frank Sinkwich, in his own right a Georgia legend. The dynamic duo led the Dawgs to a 10-1 regular season record and a number 2 ranking in the polls, which was enough for Georgia to be selected to the Rose Bowl to face the 13th ranked UCLA Bruins on New Year’s Day.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Charley Trippi
[su_spacer size=”40″] Frank Sinkwich was injured during a scrimmage before the Rose Bowl game and was unable to start. With the Dawg’s star back out, Trippi put Georgia on his shoulders and put on a performance for the ages, which earned him the Rose Bowl’s MVP award. Late in the game, in the 4th quarter, Trippi had led the Dawgs down the field to UCLA’s 1 yard line and time was called. Sinkwich hobbled in and scored the game’s only TD on a bad ankle. Trippi’s MVP performance and Sinkwich’s touchdown helped to put the Bulldawgs on top of UCLA 9-0 and gave UGA it’s first Rose Bowl win. [su_spacer size=”40″] Trippi’s college football career would be put on hold due to World War 2. He would depart college for 2 years to go serve his country in the US Army Air Corps but was never called up to be shipped out overseas. As a result, he played football for the 3rd Air Force until the war was over. [su_spacer size=”40″] He returned to Athens and the University of Georgia where he played football for 2 more years from 1945 to 1946. He helped to lead the Bulldawgs to an undefeated SEC Championship season and a Sugar Bowl victory over 9th ranked North Carolina in ’46-’47 season where he was nominated and won the Maxwell Award for his efforts and performance on the field. [su_spacer size=”40″] After graduating from the University of Georgia, Charley Trippi signed a 4 year, $100,000 contract with the Chicago Cardinals where he would go on to play for 9 seasons and have a Hall of Fame pro football career. [su_spacer size=”40″] Charley Trippi
[su_spacer size=”40″] AWARDS
[su_spacer size=”20″] Georgia Circle of Honor
Georgia Bulldogs Jersey No 62 retired
Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame
NFL 1940s All-Decade Team
1968 Pro Football Hall of Fame
1965 Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
1959 College Football Hall of Fame
1954 Pro Bowl
1953 Pro Bowl
1952 All Pro
1948 All NFL
1948 All Pro
1947 NFL Championship
1947 All Pro
1946 Maxwell Award
1946 Consensus All-American

share content

Author /

The University of Georgia 1991-1994. Lanier Tech 2009-2012. Writer and graphic artist covering UGA athletics, college football, and recruiting. Peach cobbler fears me!