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Bill Osmanski


William Thomas Osmanski

Inducted 1973

Date of Birth



Providence, RI


College of the Holy Cross (1936-1938)


Bill Osmanski provided the backfield leadership for the greatest teams in Holy Cross history, using his bursting speed, balance and power to bolster the Crusader offense during the late 1930s. The Holy Cross record in Osmanski's three years was 23-3-3; the losses were by scores of 13-12, 7-6, and 3-0. In 1936, his 85-yard run gave Holy Cross a 7-0 victory over Dartmouth. He had other runs of 92, 68, 65, and 45 yards, was given the nickname "Bullet Bill" and was named All-America all three years of his career. In 1939, he won the Most Valuable Player trophy in the College All-Star Game. He played pro with the Chicago Bears 1939-43, 1946-47. In between his two terms with the Bears, he served in the Marines in World War II and was at Okinawa, Guadalcanal, and Guam. The Bears won four league championships in his time, and he led the league in rushing yardage in 1939. Osmanski, in addition to playing with the Bears, earned a dental degree from Northwestern University. Osmanski was head football coach at Holy Cross 1948-49. After that he devoted full time to his dentistry practice in Chicago. Holy Cross retired his jersey, No.25, and instituted the Osmanski Award for scholarship and athletics. Northwestern named an alumni award for him. The Chicago Catholic High School League started the Osmanski award for the best scholar in the football ranks. Sports Illustrated gave him its Silver Anniversary Award in 1963. A YMCA branch in Evanston, Illinois, was named for him.


Height 5'11

Weight 197

Career Highlights

  • 1938 First Team All-America
  • 1937 Second Team All-America
  • 1936 Second Team All-America
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