Bob Hoernschemeyer
Date of birth: (1925-09-25)September 25, 1925
Place of birth: Cincinnati, Ohio
Date of death: June 18, 1980(1980-06-18)
Place of death: Detroit, Michigan
Career information
Position(s): Running Back
College: United States Naval Academy, Indiana University
NFL Draft: 1947 / Round: 9/ Pick 94
 As player:
Chicago Rockets
Brooklyn Dodgers (AAFC)
Chicago Hornets
Detroit Lions
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: 2
Playing stats at

Robert James "Bob" "Hunchy" Hoernschemeyer (born September 25, 1925 in Cincinnati, Ohio, died June 18, 1980 in Detroit, Michigan), was a former American football Running Back for the Chicago Rockets (1946–47), Brooklyn Dodgers (AAFC) (1947–1948), Chicago Hornets (1949), Detroit Lions (1950–1955). He attended United States Naval Academy and Indiana University.

Early life

Hoernschemeyer was the son of William A. J. Hoernschemeyer and Emma M. Byrnes (Delaney) Hoernschemeyer. Bob's father was in the Ice, Coal and Hauling business and died when he was in eighth grade. "Hunchy" enrolled in Elder High School, where he got the nickname; setting many school records, becoming football team captain for the 1942 season and graduating in 1943. He scored 131 points during his high school varsity career with 20 TD's and 11 PAT's.

College career

The football history of Indiana University has not been particularly noted for its hordes of great players and outstanding teams. But one of the brightest stars in the gridiron past of the Hoosiers was a tailback named Bob (Hunchy) Hoernschemeyer, who passed Nebraska silly one afternoon in 1943 while he was just a 17-year old freshman.

Hoernschemeyer was a complete triple threat tailback, yet it was his forward passing talents that would bring him the most recognition. A tremendously accurate passer, Hunchy was equally dangerous in throwing to either long or short patterns. A solid ball-carrier inside the ends, Hoernschemeyer was a threat for a breakaway run at any time.

The season of 1943 found most colleges fielding teams made up primarily of players still below draft age, which was certainly the case for both teams when Indiana traveled to Lincoln to tangle with Nebraska. Hoernschemeyer got the Hoosiers rolling midway in the first quarter as he returned a punt 20 yards to the Indiana 37, and the following drive was finally capped off with a one-yard plunge for the score by fullback Jim Allerdice.

It was still in the first quarter when Pete Pihos recovered a fumble for Indiana at the Nebraska 33 yard line, and on the next play Hoernschemeyer rifled a long pass to Don angold as he went into the end zone, to make it 14-0. Then with the second period just underway, Hunchy struck again with a 38-yard scoring strike to Ed Scheinbein. With plenty of time remaining until halftime, Hoernschemeyer went to work again on the young Cornhusker defense. Three pass completions paced a Hoosier march deep into Nebraska territory, and then Hunchy lofted a fourth down aerial to Frank Torak in the end zone from five yards out—and Indiana went to the intermission with a 27-0 lead.

Nebraska came out throwing the football in the third quarter, and the Cornhuskers reached paydirt early in the stanza on a 22-yard scoring pass of their own. But Hoernschemeyer went right back to work after the kickoff, this time using both his running and passing skills to lead a punishing 75-yard match up the field, finally capping it all off with another touchdown pass to Torak, this one covering 20 yards.

Nebraska fought back with a touchdown in the third quarter, this one coming on a 48-yard scoring pass, to make it a 34-13 ball game heading into the final stanza. Then Hoernschemeyer returned to the airways again to lead the Hoosiers up the field for the score that finally broke this game open; his pass completion to Pihos at the Cornhusker 13 yard line setting up a short touchdown run moments later.

A short time later Hoernschemeyer and Pihos hooked up again, this touchdown pass covering 23 yards, with the rugged Hoosier end making the catch as he narrowly avoided a full-speed collision with the goal post. Hunchy stayed in the game long enough to victimize the exhausted Nebraska defense one last time; this scoring play covering 37 yards, with Mangold making a juggling catch just before heading into the end zone.

For the day Hoernschemeyer completed 14 of 18 pass attempts for 345 yards and six touchdowns. His performance in this 54-13 romp over Nebraska went a long way toward his eventual place as the nation’s total offense leader for the 1943 season.


Hoernschemeyer entered the U.S. Naval Academy and played quarterback in the 1945 season.

Professional career

Following his short time in the military Hoernschemeyer played for the Chicago Rockets/Hornets in the AAFC, as well as the Brooklyn Dodgers football team.

Selected in the first round of the draft from "frozen-player pool" in 1950…Before coming to the NFL, Hunchy played four seasons in the All-America conference with Brooklyn and Chicago…Could play any position in the backfield if needed, including quarterback…Led Lions in rushing four consecutive seasons, 1950 through 1953…Very good hands out of the backfield…Considered the Lions’ short-yardage specialist…Selected to two Pro Bowls in six-year career with Lions.

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