Today’s post celebrates the Happy Birthday Anniversary of a Michigan Man named Chuck Bernard. Joseph Charles “Chuck” Bernard was born in Chicago, Illinois on this date in 1911. He graduated from Benton Harbor High School before going on to star at Michigan. Joseph Charles “Chuck” Bernard attended The University of Michigan from 1930 to 1934. During his sophomore year he didn’t get a lot of playing time because he was the back-up to All-American Maynard Morrison. Once he got into the starting lineup he stayed there for sixteen straight games and Michigan went 15-0-1 with him at center. He was a consensus All-American in 1932 and a unanimous selection in 1933. He was so accomplished that a promising player by the name of Gerald R. Ford had to ride the bench during his Sophomore and Junior years because Mr. Bernard was so very, very good.
One of Harry Kipke’s finest lineman, Bernard helped anchor one of best lines in Michigan football history. He was a sixty-minute player who was a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball. He was fortunate to be a starter on the last two Michigan teams (1932 and 1933) to repeat as Big Ten and National Champions under the same coach (Harry Kipke).
Chuck Bernard is connected to some interesting Michigan Football “Firsts.” Here they are:
- Chuck Bernard played in the first game ever against what is now Central Michigan University I 1931.
- Bernard played on the first Michigan Football team to play and win six Big Ten games in one season. The Wolverines posted a perfect conference record of 6-0-0 and won the championship.
- Chuck Bernard is the first, and only, Michigan Football center to be a two-time All-American.
Chuck Bernard went on to play one year of professional football for the Detroit Lions in 1934. He could not overcome a back injury suffered in the 1934 Chicago College All-Start football game. After one season with the Lions, he retired form professional football and worked for Ford Motor Company. Sadly, Bernard was only fifty years of age when he passed away in March 1962.
For more information about this Michigan great click the Wikipedia link: