FORMER SUBWAY ALUMNI LEADER REFLECTS ON HIS "NOTRE DAME ODYSSEY"


Herb Juliano
(1922-1998)

Herb's Archive features a discussion between Herb Juliano and Chet Grant.

Charlie Glueckert, from the 1924 Dome.

Charlie Glueckert, from the 1924 Dome.

 

Herb's Archive 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).

Rockne found 'tough Dutchman' on beer wagon

When "Glick" died last week, not too many people remembered the fellow Ernie Nevers of Stanford once called "that tough Dutchman."

"Glick" was 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.

 

Glueckert 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 ."

It was 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.

Glueckert's 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.

"Anyway, 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."'

Glueckert 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."

By his 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.

The 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.

It was 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.

"I really think Rock meant it, too," said Glueckert. "I had never seen him that mad "

Glueckert 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.

"Well, 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."

What 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.

The ACC cost a bit more than one bowl check, but when Chuck Glueckert died the other day, a little bit of athletic history ended.

Bet you Gerry Faust hasn't recruited many players off a beer wagon

 

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