Some of the Bears from early history have gotten a lot of press over the years. Others are hardly written about, but achieved great things with the team and outside of football as well.  Joe Kopcha is a Bear you hardly read about, but he was a Bear that Papa Bear was proud to have had on his team.

Joe Kopcha was born in Whiting, Indiana, and attended Whiting High School. He attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a goal to become an obstetrician, but he also found time to play football, basketball, baseball, and swimming.  Kopcha also competed in track. He played for the Bears from 1929-1935 and finished out his career with the Lions in 1936. Kopcha was an offensive lineman at 6-foot and 221 pounds, who played football to pay for his medical studies. An ambitious and conscientious man who was getting through medical school during The Great Depression. Kopcha was named on the 100 Greatest Bears of All Time; certainly someone whose life can inspire young Bears fans to succeed in their own lives.


Copyright 2021, Sporting Chance Press

Words in ital. are vocabulary words for students (we also use ital. for book titles)–in this post the vocabulary words are for the 8th grade. Have your kids and grandkids read our posts on Chicago Bears Terms at to help them in school. 

Image of George “Papa Bear” Halas by illustrator Bill Potter, Copyright 2014, 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:


Wilber Marshall

Willie Gault

Tom Thayer

Ted Karras

Joey Sternaman

Wally Chambers

Mark Bortz

Bo Farrington

Gabe Carimi

Keith Van Horne

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.