features the story of Rock's unusual recruiting of Charlie Glueckert,
star lineman for the 1924 Rose Bowl team. The story, from Joe
Doyle's South Bend Tribune column "According to
Doyle" (July 13, 1983).
found 'tough Dutchman' on beer wagon
died last week, not too many people remembered the fellow Ernie Nevers
of Stanford once called "that tough Dutchman."
the natural nickname that Knute Rockne gave the former South Bend High
(later known as Central) player Charlie Glueckert And that Rockne would
have a particular liking for "Glick" was only natural.
Glueckert, like Rock, worked after getting out of high school and
enrolled at Notre Dame only after Rockne recruited him off a beer
delivery wagon. And because of his father, a brewer at what was later
Hoosier Beer, he had the delivery job.
Glueckert had many
memories of Rockne and of Notre Dame in the Four Horseman era, and
though he wasn't a regular in the line for that Rose Bowl game of 1925,
the Stanford star Nevers remembered him well.
At a reunion of the
Stanford and Notre Dame Rose Bowl players in San Francisco in 1963,
Nevers was recounting the great Irish goal line stand that stopped a
Stanford threat. Rockne had inserted Glueckert, a comparatively big
player (6-1 and 190), in the line. And on one of Nevers' best carries,
he was met headon by Glueckert. Wham!
"Boy, did that
tough Dutchman hit me," laughed Nevers, who some say outgained the
entire Notre Dame team in the game. At the time of the goal line stand
the score was only 20-10 and until then Stanford's line was pushing the
Irish around pretty good.
remembered Rockne's recruiting visit in the summer of 1921. "I was
delivering to a saloon on West Washington Street right there where Doc
Grose's bicycle shop used to be," recalled Glueckert a few years
back. "He told me he had heard that I was a good lineman and
offered me a chance to play ."
only natural, of course. Glueckert's older brother Henry was in the Holy
Cross order. He's the one we used to call "Warden" Glueckert
when he was rector of Alumni Hall.
favorite Rockne story wasn't about his recruitment. He recalled that on
a trip to Pittsburgh for the Carnegie Tech game one year -the Irish
played there three years in a row - he left the hotel room late in the
evening in search of a beer. "You've got to remember that I was a
bit older than the others and I knew a beer or two wouldn't hurt
me," he recalled. "Besides, I was one of the shock troops.
I went down to the corner and found a cop and asked him where a thirsty
guy could get a beer. He sent me to a place, but I no more than got the
first beer in my hand and I looked up and saw Rock corning in with a
group of sports writers. So I decided I would move on and went back to
the same cop on the corner and told him, 'no good, the coach came in.'
"He sent me to
another speakeasy and again I started on that first beer. But soon I
felt a hand on my shoulder and it was Rock. He sat beside me and said,
'I know you like this stuff and that you are old enough to handle it, so
let's have one together and then go back to the hotel. Carnegie Tech
will be tough tomorrow."'
got to play in the game, too, and he said, "Maybe a little more
than I would have if I hadn't had that beer with the coach."
senior season, Glueckert was in law school, along with some other team
members and his late buddy, Ed Luther, the official cheerleader. And
after graduation, he practiced in South Bend for many years.
celebrated Rose Bowl trip that took the Irish west by way of New
Orleans, Texas, and Arizona was so long and involved that Notre Dame
authorities decided that post-season play took too much time away from
classes. though 40 years later when semester schedules changed, the
Irish got back in the bowl business.
in New Orleans that Rockne threatened to send some key members of the
team home to South Bend. That was after a celebration got out of hand
and some players didn't show up for breakfast.
really think Rock meant it, too," said Glueckert. "I had never
seen him that mad "
played only briefly in 1922, but was a key reserve the next two years as
a mature guard. And when Notre Dame relaxed its stand on bowl games in
1969, Glueckert was like any other fan, happy that the Irish he loved
would get to go to a bowl game.
I can't say that I played on the only Notre Dame team to go to a bowl,
but I will tell you one thing. They won't be able to build a fieldhouse
with the bowl check like the one we got to go to Pasadena."
was left of the Rose Bowl money after Rockne's roundabout trip by way of
New Orleans and back via San Francisco was used to build the addition on
the old fieldhouse that was torn down earlier this year.
cost a bit more than one bowl check, but when Chuck Glueckert died the
other day, a little bit of athletic history ended.
Gerry Faust hasn't recruited many players off a beer wagon