Honors and Awards
- Pro Football Hall of Fame (1965)
One of the first great Cornhuskers, Guy "The Champ" Chamberlin owns the rare distinction of earning induction to both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is one of only two Huskers, along with Bob Brown, that have earned permanent places in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
Chamberlin's trip to the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., actually started at Nebraska Wesleyan, where he began his playing career before transferring to Nebraska. He earned All-Missouri Valley Conference honors as a halfback in 1914, before earning All-America honors as an end for the Huskers in 1915. Nebraska's second All-American, following tackle and teammate Vic Halligan (1914), Chamberlin starred for the dominant Nebraska teams of Coach Ewald O. "Jumbo" Stiehm. With Chamberlin leading the charge, Nebraska posted a perfect 8-0 record in 1915 and captured the Missouri Valley Conference title.
Along the way, Nebraska knocked off Notre Dame, 20-19, when Chamberlin scored the first two touchdowns on runs of 20 and 10 yards. He also completed two passes for 49 yards and the winning touchdown, nearly single-handedly beating the Fighting Irish in Lincoln on Oct. 23.
With a 52-7 victory over Iowa on Homecoming on Nov. 20, 1915, Chamberlin and the Cornhuskers capped a 29-game unbeaten streak, although Chamberlin lettered for NU in only 1914 and 1915. Among many highlights of his amazing college career, Chamberlin returned a kickoff 95 yards and a touchdown in a 24-0 win over Michigan State in Lincoln on Oct. 24, 1914, and had a 70-yard touchdown run from scrimmage against Kansas in that same season.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1962.
After graduating from Nebraska, Chamberlin taught high school science and coached in Lexington, Neb., in 1916-17. He then served in the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1919, and was the athletic director at Camp Kearney in California from February through September of 1919.
The first Husker to play in what is now the National Football League, Chamberlin spent the 1919 season with the independent Canton Bulldogs in 1919, before joining the Decatur Staleys in 1920. The Staleys, who were organzied by the legendary George Halas, played in the American Professional Football Association which eventually became the NFL.
Chamberlin and Halas were the starting ends for the Staleys in 1920 and 1921. Chamberlin returned to Canton as a player-coach in 1922 and over the next two years the Bulldogs won 21 games without suffering loss, although they did post three ties. Canton captured a pair of NFL championships, then relocated to Cleveland in 1924, where they won a third consecutive title.
Chamberlin then moved on to become the player-coach of the Frankford Yellowjackets in 1925. After a sixth-place finish in 1925, the Yellowjackets rolled to a 14-1-1 record in 1926 to give Chamberlin his fourth NFL championship in five seasons as a coach.
After spending one season as a player for the Chicago Cardinals in 1927, Chamberlin took the reins as head coach of the Cardinals in 1928, but the team finished with a 1-6 record and he retired after the season. Overall, he produced a 56-14-5 record (.780 winning percentage) as a professional head coach.
Chamberlin returned to Blue Springs, Neb., in 1932, where he became a farmer, stockman and businessman.
Berlin (Guy) Chamberlin was born Jan. 16, 1894 in Blue Springs, Neb., and passed away in Lincoln on April 4, 1967.
Following Chamberlin's death in 1967, the Nebraska football program established the Chamberlin Trophy, which is presented each year at the Outland Trophy banquet in Omaha. The award is presented to the senior player who has shown by the play and contributions to the betterment of the University of Nebraska football squad that he has the qualities and dedication of Guy Chamberlin to the Cornhusker tradition.