From 1964 to 1967, Ealey played for Notre Dame High School under Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer Ed Miller. In 1967, Notre Dame captured its first Ohio High School Athletic Association state championship. Ealey was lightly recruited despite finishing his high school career with an undefeated record. He was offered a football scholarship to Miami University with then-coach Bo Schembechler to be the team's third-string quarterback, but Ealey refused. He was then offered a scholarship by University of Toledo Head Coach Frank Lauterbur with an opportunity to start as first-string quarterback., Ealey accepted the offer and would lead Toledo to 35 consecutive wins in a three-year span from 1969–1971. 
Ealey's greatest triumph with Toledo was helping the Toledo Rockets win the 1970 Tangerine Bowl. Ealey led the Rockets to three straight Top 20 finishes and three straight Tangerine Bowl victories during their run of unbeaten seasons, winning the MVP award in all three games.
In 1971, Ealey's senior season, he was named First Team All-American by Football News, Second Team All-American by the United Press International, and Third Team All-American by the Associated Press. He also finished eighth in the voting for the 1971 Heisman Trophy, which was awarded to Pat Sullivan of Auburn. Ealey finished his career as a three-time first team all-conference selection, and a three-time Back of the Year selection in the Mid-American Conference, leading the conference in passing yards in 1970 and 1971. His jersey is one of four retired jerseys in the history of Toledo football, and was elected to the MAC Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1988.
Despite his amateur accomplishments, Ealey is not a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. He was passed by in the 1972 NFL Draft, after making it known that he only wanted to play quarterback at a time when African-American quarterbacks were not seriously considered in the NFL.
Ealey is now a Regional Director for Investors Group in Mississauga. He also can be heard on Wednesday afternoons on the radio, giving helpful investment tips and advice on CIWV-FM Wave 94.7. He currently lives in Brampton, Ontario, with his wife. He has three children and six grandchildren. Ealey's son, Damon, also played football for the University of Toledo in 1995. A documentary film on his life, Undefeated: The Chuck Ealey Story was aired on November 27, 2008, in Toledo and scheduled for DVD release in December. Chuck Ealey is one of a number of black athletes featured in the book for young readers, Choice of Colours: The Pioneering African-American Quarterbacks Who Changed the Face of Football (2008). Chuck is featured in the 2012 documentary "The Stone Thrower" which tells the revealing and emotional story of how the gifted quarterback found refuge in Canada and the CFL in the face of racial intolerance in the United States. It is one of the Engraved on a Nation series of eight documentaries celebrating the 100th Grey Cup and airs on TSN in October 2012. He is also an honorary initiate of Kappa Delta Rho Fraternity.