Listen Live

Johnny Lujack, who won the 1947 Heisman Trophy and led Notre Dame to three national championships, died Tuesday in Florida, the university announced. He was 98.

>> Read more trending news

Lujack’s death was also confirmed by his granddaughter, Amy Schiller, ESPN reported. She said that Lujack had entered hospice care recently. It was unclear where in Florida the former college football star died.

The star quarterback led the Fighting Irish to national championships in 1943, 1946 and 1947 and was a unanimous All-America selection in 1946 and 1947, The New York Times reported.

Lujack went 21-1-1 as the team’s starting quarterback in a career that was interrupted in 1944 and 1945, when he served in the Navy, ESPN reported.

Lujack, who was born on Jan. 4, 1925, in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, took over as Notre Dame’s quarterback in November 1943 when Angelo Bertelli left for military service, the Times reported. He led the Irish to a 9-1 record and their first national title.

Despite a scoreless tie against Army in 1946, Lujack took the Irish to an 8-0-1 record and a second national championship as he finished third in Heisman Trophy balloting.

He returned to win college football’s most prestigious award in 1947 as the Irish went 9-0. Lujack passed for nine touchdowns and threw for 777 yards while also rushing for 139 yards, according to Sports-Reference.com.

“Everything for me at Notre Dame was happenstance,” Lujack told UND.com in 1999. “If I played five years later, maybe people would not have even noticed that I was around. So I feel so fortunate about the timing and everything that came my way.”

Lujack was selected No. 4 overall in the 1946 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears and began playing professionally in 1948, ESPN reported.

He played four seasons for the Bears, reaching teh Pro Bowl in 1950 and 1951, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.

Playing on both sides of the ball, Lujack tied an NFL record with eight interceptions as a rookie, ESPN reported. He also threw for a league-record 468 yards against the Chicago Cardinals and set a record for NFL quarterbacks with 11 rushing touchdowns in 1950.

After retiring from football, Lujack spent two seasons as a Notre Dame assistant in 1952 and 1953, ESPN reported. He then opened a car dealership with his father-in-law in Davenport, Iowa, which he ran for the next 40 years, according to The Associated Press.

Lujack also worked as a CBS color commentator for the New York Giants from 1958 to 1961 and later called college football games for CBS and ABC during the late 1960s.

Lujack was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1960 and into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, according to ESPN.

“The two greatest winners of the 1940s were FDR and John Lujack,” college football analyst Beano Cook once said, according to the Times. “But even Roosevelt won only two elections in the 1940s, while Lujack won three national titles.”