Luke Johnsos was born in Evanston, Illinois, and attended Schurz High School in Chicago. At Schurz, he played football and baseball. He enrolled at Northwestern University and played basketball, baseball, and football. He was picked up by George Halas to play for the Bears, but not in the usual way. Halas went to Northwestern to sign Wildcats’ star Walt Homer who got a large salary at the time of $5,000, but Homer was not going to sign with Halas unless his roommate Luke Johnson would be able to join him. Halas agreed and paid Johnson a small salary at the start. Johnson would turn out to be a tremendous long-lasting influence. The 6-foot-2, 195 pound end played from 1929-1936 and then coached from 1937-1968 including a 4-year stint (1942-1945) as co-head coach with Hunk Anderson during the war years when Halas served in the Navy.
As a Bear, Johnsos was an All Pro twice. He had the most receiving touchdowns and receiving yards per game in 1933. Johnsos was named one of the Top 100 Bears of All Time. Johnsos was a player for 2 Bears’ Championships in 1932 and 1933. As an assistant coach, he contributed to the Bears’ Championships in 1940, 1941, 1946, and 1963. Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnsos coached the Bears to an NFL championship in 1943 as Co-Head Coaches.
As an assistant, Johnsos noticed how much improved his sight of the game was way up in the stands for things like formations, the tendency of players movements, coverages, etc. A phone was rigged up high and Johnson attended to his coaching duties from that vantage point. We see it today in the team skyboxes. Halas surrounded himself with gifted football men who made many contributions to the game. Certainly, Johnsos was one of those.
Copyright 2021, Sporting Chance Press
More on the Chicago Bears. Here at the other Chicago Bears bios that we have released for the month of September thus far:
Two of our books.
We have published several books that cover some material on the Chicago Bears. One of our recent books is called PAPA BEAR AND THE CHICAGO BEARS’ WINNING WAYS reviews the exciting story of George Halas and his dynamic role in professional football for those in middle school and older. Author: Patrick McCaskey. Visit Amazon, Great offer today on this great educational and sports resource for middle grades students!
Our most ambitious book on sports is a 2014 effort called PILLARS OF THE NFL. This book is a real collector’s book on the 10 greatest coaches in NFL history. It includes stats as well as stories and more. Visit Amazon, this one is also offered at a great price today.