University of Notre Dame

Bertelli won Notre Dame's first Heisman in 1943, the first T-formation quarterback to do so. He is one of six Heisman winners to also finish as a Heisman runner up.

Heisman Winner

Angelo Bertelli

QB | Senior | University of Notre Dame

Bertelli won Notre Dame’s first Heisman in 1943, the first T-formation quarterback to do so. He is one of six Heisman winners to also finish as a Heisman runner up.

Born in West Springfield, Massachusetts, Bertelli matriculated at Springfield’s Cathedral High and was All State in football, baseball and hockey, while finding time to be the Senior class president.

The 6-1, 173-pound Bertelli was a single wing tailback, but Irish coach Frank Leahy thought he would be a good fit for the T-formation.

He was right. As a sophomore, Bertelli, led the nation with a 56.9 percent passing average, completing 70 of 123 attempts while placing second in the Heisman vote. The next year, Bertelli passed for 1039 yards and 10 touchdowns in 1942 and earned the nickname “the T-formation magician” from famed sportswriter Grantland Rice. He finished sixth in the Heisman that year.

During his senior year in 1943, the Marine Corps activated Bertelli after six games of Notre Dame’s 10-game season. In the six games Bertelli started in, he threw 36 passes, completing 25 with 10 touchdowns. Bertelli’s six-game 1943 performance was enough to win the Heisman Trophy. During Bertelli’s three seasons, Notre Dame lost only three games. In 1943, Notre Dame won 43 to 5 on average.

In 1944, Bertelli was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant, where he served as an infantry and recreation officer. After stops at Quantico, Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton, Bertelli embarked to participate in combat operations in the Pacific. After arriving from Guam in February 1945, Bertelli fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima and was nearly killed when a Japanese mortar shell landed 15 feet away from his position. Bertelli returned to Guam in March and served in Sasebo, Japan, before returning to the states in March 1946. After World War II, Bertelli entered the Marine Corps Reserves where he was promoted to the rank of captain and served until 1957.

In 1946, Bertelli signed with the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference. Bertelli played for the Chicago Rockets between 1947 and 1948. After several knee surgeries, he retired prior to the 1949 season. After his retirement from professional football, Bertelli moved to Clifton, New Jersey and operated several businesses. He was the color analyst for the Princeton University football games broadcast on radio station WVNJ, 620 AM and 100.3 FM in the 1950s and 60s.

Bertelli was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1972. He passed away on June 26, 1999.

More Articles About Angelo Bertelli

Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: NA - Announced: May 27, 1943.

 PlayerClassPositionSchoolTotal Points
1Angelo BertelliSRQBNotre Dame648
2Bob OdellSRHBPennsylvania177
3Otto GrahamSRQBNorthwestern140
4Creighton MillerSRHBNotre Dame134
5Eddie ProkopSRRBGeorgia Tech85
6Hal HamburgJRHBNavy73
7Bill DaleySRFBMichigan71
8Tony ButkovichSRFBPurdue65
9Jim WhiteJRTNotre Dame52

Three points are awarded for first place on a ballot, with two points for second place and one point for third place.

Heisman Voting By Region

At this time, Heisman voters are spread out across five regions.


1Angelo Bertelli
2Eddie Prokop
3Bob Odell
4Hal Hamburg
5Otto Graham


1Angelo Bertelli
2Bob Odell
3Creighton Miller
4Eddie Prokop
5Otto Graham


1Angelo Bertelli
2Otto Graham
3Creighton Miller
4Tony Butkovich
5Bill Daley


1Angelo Bertelli
2Hal Hamburg
3Otto Graham
4Eddie Prokop
5Tony Butkovich

Far West

1Angelo Bertelli
2Otto Graham
3Bob Odell
4Creighton Miller
5Hal Hamburg


Game-by-game statistics for Angelo Bertelli’s’ 1943 season are unavailable at this time.

Here are his Heisman season totals for 1943:

TotalsTeam RankRecordPAPCPctYdsTDYPP
Heisman StatsAP #19-1362569.45121014.22

Bertelli played only six games in 1943 before he was called up to serve in the Marines.