Trippi attended the University of Georgia and was a two-time All-America selection. He played for Georgia in 1942 alongside Heisman winner Frank Sinkwich. Georgia finished the season with a record of 11-1 and was named consensus national champions. He was named Most Valuable Player in the 1943 Rose Bowl in Georgia's 9-0 victory over UCLA. After his college career was interrupted by World War II, he completed his career at Georgia by playing in 1945 and 1946. He won the Maxwell Award in the 1946 season. At Georgia, he was initiated into the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
Trippi lives in Athens, Georgia with his second wife, Margaret. He had three children, Charles Jr., Brenda, and Jo Ann with his first wife, Virginia, who died in 1971. Trippi graduated from the University of Georgia in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1965. In 2007 he was ranked #20 on ESPN's Top 25 Players In College Football History list.
Trippi participated in the 1947 NFL Championship Game when the Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 28-21. Playing on an icy field in Chicago, Trippi wore basketball shoes for better traction and totaled 206 yards, including 102 yards on two punt returns. He scored touchdowns on a 44-yard run and a 75-yard punt return.
Trippi played as a left halfback for four seasons before switching to quarterback for two seasons. He then moved back to offensive halfback for one season before switching over to play defense in 1954 and 1955. He was also the Cardinals' punter and he excelled on special teams.
He is the only player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with 1000 yards of receiving, 1000 yards passing, and 1000 yards rushing (two other players that are not in the hall of fame--George Taliaferro and Bob Hoernschemeyer—have that distinction as well)
After he ended his NFL career, he would serve as an assistant coach with the Cardinals from 1957-1965, mostly coaching the offensive backfield.