Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BY LOU SOMOGYI F ormer Notre Dame quarterback Bob Williams' (1948-50) football career was usually spent in and remembered in the shadows, but he had a life spent in the sun. Williams, who died May 26 at age 86 at his Mercy Ridge Retirement Home in Timonium, Md., was com- fortable with the lack of fanfare. Even though he was enshrined into the Col- lege Football Hall of Fame in 1988 for his role that helped Notre Dame capture the national title in 1949 — the school's third in four years while building a 39-game unbeaten streak — he often was the man in the back- ground with his common name. • Williams' predecessors in the 1940s, Angelo Bertelli and John Lu- jack, won the Heisman Trophy in 1943 and 1947, respectively. Meanwhile, Williams finished "only" fifth as a ju- nior during his championship season, with teammate and senior end Leon Hart winning the award. The next year Williams dropped to sixth in the balloting when the 1940s Notre Dame dynasty slipped to 4-4-1 with scholar- ship cutbacks catching up with the program. So on the 1988 day that Williams was to be honored at Notre Dame for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, a friend inquired about his whereabouts at the school's ath- letic department. The response was a favorite one for the modest QB: "Who's Bob Williams?" You think that would have hap- pened to Lujack? • Quarterback successor Ralph Guglielmi (1951-54) won more often as a three-year starter, and he also was unbeaten as a junior and made the College Football Hall of Fame. Another Notre Dame Heisman win- ner soon thereafter in Paul Hornung (1956) was more glamorous despite a 2-8 record his senior year. • There was even another Bob Wil- liams who succeeded Hornung as the starting quarterback at Notre Dame in 1957-58, highlighted by his lead- ership on offense and defense while snapping Oklahoma's NCAA record 47-game winning streak in 1957. That THE PASSING OF A GREAT College Football Hall of Fame QB Bob Williams died May 26

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