Frank Aschenbrenner

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Frank Aschenbrenner
Frank Aschenbrenner 1949.jpg
Aschenbrenner in 1949
Date of birth July 12, 1925
Place of birth Heibuehl, Germany
Date of death January 30, 2012(2012-01-30) (aged 86)
Place of death Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Career information
Position(s) Halfback
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 188 lb (85 kg)
College Marquette, North Carolina, Northwestern
NFL draft 1947 / Round: 6 / Pick: 38
Drafted by Pittsburgh Steelers
Career history
As player
1949 Chicago Hornets
1951 Montreal Alouettes
Career highlights and awards
  • Rose Bowl Player of the Game (1947)
Career stats
Military career
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Navy seal U.S. Navy
Years of service 1942–1946
Unit U.S. Naval Air Corps
Battles/wars World War II

Francis Xavier Aschenbrenner (July 12, 1925 – January 30, 2012) was a professional American football player for the Chicago Hornets and the Montreal Alouettes.


Aschenbrenner was born Francis Xavier Aschenbrenner on July 12, 1925 in Germany.[1] At the age of 3, he boarded a steamship with his parents to begin their life in the United States and moved to Milwaukee.[2] He started his college football career at Marquette University, until the outbreak of World War II.

During the war, Aschenbrenner served in the United States Naval Air Corps. While training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1944, Aschenbrenner also played football there. In 1945, he played for the service team at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center under Paul Brown who also coached the Cleveland Browns. He later played on the team under Lynn Waldorf and Bear Bryant. After the war, Aschenbrenner was drafted in the sixth round of the 1947 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and also in the first round of the All-America Football Conference draft in 1947 by the Buffalo Bills. Aschenbrenner, however, returned to college to finish his education at Northwestern University and never played for the Steelers or Bills.

In fact, his rights were traded by both teams with the Steelers sending him to the Los Angeles Rams and the Bills to the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, Aschenbrenner became a star at Northwestern and played in the 1949 Rose Bowl, where he was named the outstanding player in the game, running for 119 yards, which included a 73-yard dash for a touchdown to open the scoring. Aschenbrenner's rights in the AAFC had been traded by Cleveland to the Chicago Hornets. Aschenbrenner played six games for Chicago in 1949, but the team had tried to convert him to defense, where he had never played before. The experiment proved a failure and he was soon released.

Aschenbrenner then spent another two years in the Navy Air Corps before a brief four game stint with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 1951.[3]

In 1993, Aschenbrenner was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, along with Bo Schembechler and O. J. Simpson. He died on January 30, 2012 in Arizona.[2]


  1. ^ "Frank Aschenbrenner". Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  2. ^ a b "Death Notice:". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. February 1, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Frank Aschenbrenner". CFLapedia. Retrieved April 30, 2013.