Heinie Benkert

Last updated
Heinie Benkert
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born:(1901-06-30)June 30, 1901
Newark, New Jersey
Died:July 15, 1972(1972-07-15) (aged 71)
Orange, New Jersey
Height:5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight:168 lb (76 kg)
Career information
High school: Newark (NJ) East Side
College: Rutgers
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Henry Marvin "Heinie" Benkert (June 30, 1901 – July 15, 1972) was a professional American football running back who starred collegiately at Rutgers University, where he won the unofficial collegiate scoring crown as a senior, and played for four non-consecutive seasons in the National Football League, for the New York Giants, the Pottsville Maroons and the Orange/Newark Tornadoes. [1]


Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Benkert received all-state honors at football while attending East Side High School in his hometown, before going on to play for the Rutgers University football team. [2] With 16 touchdowns and four extra points for the 1924 Rutgers Queensmen football team, Benkert led the nation's college football players in scoring, with a total of 100 points; his 16 touchdowns also led the nation. [3] [4] His 1924 season included an October 4 game against Lebanon Valley College, won 56–0 by Rutgers, in which Benkert scored four touchdowns and kicked three extra points, scoring one of his touchdowns on an 86-yard run. [5] Benkert gained a total of 2,124 rushing yards in his three collegiate seasons from 1922 to 1924, making him the first Rutgers player to cross the 2,000-yard mark. [6]

After college, Benkert went professional, playing in the NFL for the New York Giants team that finished the season with an 8–4 record in its inaugural season in 1925, starting 10 of the team's 12 NFL games – typical of the less-regimented early barnstorming days in the league, the team played five games against non-league opponents—and earning recognition as a first-team All-Pro by Collyer's Eye for his play that year. [1] [7] [8] He played for the Pottsville Maroons in 1926, starting four games and appearing in eight as the team finished with a 10–2–2 record, good for third place in the league. [1] [9] In 1929 and 1930, Benkert played in New Jersey for the Tornados (the team moved from Orange to Newark in 1930), appearing in 13 games in his two seasons with the Tornados and also serving as a coach for a team that finished 3–5–4 in 1929 (in eighth place in the NFL among 12 teams) and 1–10–1 in 1930 (good for 11th, and last, place in the league). [1] [2] [10] [11] Characteristic of the experimental nature of the early National Football League, the Tornados experimented with using letters instead of numbers on player jerseys in the 1929 season; Benkert wore the letter "C" on his uniform in a game against the Frankford Yellow Jackets, while Johnny Tomaini had the letter "X" on his jersey. [12]

After finishing his professional football career, Benkert went on to teach history and coach football at Orange High School in Orange, New Jersey, until his retirement from the school in 1971. [2] He was a member of the football coaching staff at Rutgers in the 1940s. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Super Bowl XXV 1991 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXV was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Buffalo Bills and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1990 season. The Giants defeated the Bills by the score of 20–19, winning their second Super Bowl.

The Orange Tornadoes and Newark Tornadoes were two manifestations of a long-lived professional American football franchise that existed in some form from 1887 to 1941 and from 1958 to 1970, having played in the National Football League from 1929 to 1930, the American Association from 1936 to 1941, the Atlantic Coast Football League from 1963 to 1964 and 1970, and the Continental Football League from 1965 to 1969. The team was based for most of its history in Orange, New Jersey, with many of its later years in Newark. Its last five seasons of existence were as the Orlando Panthers, when the team was based in Orlando, Florida. The NFL franchise was sold back to the league in October 1930. The team had four head coaches in its two years in the NFL – Jack Depler in Orange, and Jack Fish, Al McGall and Andy Salata in Newark.

Eli Manning American football quarterback

Elisha Nelson Manning IV is a former American football quarterback who played his entire 16-year career for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Mississippi from 2000 to 2003. He was drafted as the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and was immediately traded to the Giants who in return gave up a package, highlighted by fourth overall selection Philip Rivers. Manning is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and the younger brother of former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

Ernie Nevers American football player and coach

Ernest Alonzo Nevers, sometimes known by the nickname "Big Dog", was an American football and baseball player and football coach. Widely regarded as one of the best football players in the first half of the 20th century, he played as a fullback and was a triple-threat man known for his talents in running, passing, and kicking. He was inducted with the inaugural classes of inductees into both the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. He was also named in 1969 to the NFL 1920s All-Decade Team.

Steve Van Buren American football player

Stephen Wood Van Buren was a Honduran-American professional football player who was a halfback for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL) from 1944 to 1951. Regarded as a powerful and punishing runner with excellent speed, through eight NFL seasons he won four league rushing titles, including three straight from 1947 to 1949. At a time when teams played twelve games a year, he was the first NFL player to rush for over ten touchdowns in a season—a feat he accomplished three times—and the first to have multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons. When he retired, he held the NFL career records for rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.

Benny Friedman American football quarterback, coach, and athletic administrator

Benjamin Friedman was an American football player and coach, and athletic administrator.

Pete Henry American football player and coach, college athletics administrator

Wilbur Francis "Pete" Henry was an American football player, coach, and athletic administrator. He was a charter inductee into both the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

History of the New York Giants history of the American football team from its origins to the present

The New York Giants, an American football team which currently plays in the National Football League's National Football Conference, has a history dating back more than 80 seasons. The Giants were founded in 1925 by Tim Mara in the then five-year-old NFL. Mara owned the team until his death in 1959, when it was passed on to his sons, Wellington and Jack. During their history, the Giants have won eight NFL championships, four of which came in Super Bowls.

Orange High School (New Jersey) Public high school in the United States

Orange High School is a three-year comprehensive public high school that serves students in tenth through twelfth grades from Orange in Essex County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Orange Board of Education. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1928.

John F. McBride was an American football player who played the positions of halfback, fullback, and quarterback in the National Football League (NFL). He was born in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. McBride played collegiately at Syracuse University where he finished second in the nation in scoring in his senior year to Heinie Benkert. McBride scored 90 points on 7 touchdowns, 11 field goals, and 15 extra points in his senior year.

The 1986 New York Giants season was the franchise's 62nd season in the National Football League. The New York Giants, who play in the National Football Conference (NFC) of the National Football League (NFL), won their fifth championship—and first Super Bowl—in franchise history during the season. Led by consensus league Most Valuable Player (MVP) linebacker Lawrence Taylor and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Phil Simms, the Giants posted a 14–2 record during the regular season, tied for the best record in the league with the defending Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears and the best in team history. The Giants improved on their 10–6 record from 1985, won their first division championship since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, and won Super Bowl XXI against the Denver Broncos.

The first American Football League (AFL), sometimes called AFL I, AFLG, or the Grange League, was a professional American football league that operated in 1926. It was the first major competitor to the National Football League (NFL). Founded by Charles "C.C." Pyle, (1882–1939), and General Charles X. Zimmerman, (1865–1926), as vice president and starring Hall of Fame halfback Harold Edward "Red" Grange, (1903–1991), the short-lived league with nine teams competed against the more established – then six-year-old – NFL, both for players and for fans. While Pyle's and Grange's New York Yankees team and the already established Philadelphia Quakers became reliable draws, the lack of star power and the uncertain financial conditions of the other seven teams led to the league's dissolution after one season.

East Side High School (Newark, New Jersey) Public high school in the United States

East Side High School is a four-year public high school in Newark in Essex County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Newark Public Schools. The school serves the city's Ironbound neighborhood. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1929.

Ken Strong American football player

Elmer Kenneth Strong was an American football halfback and fullback who also played minor league baseball. Considered one of the greatest all-around players in the early decades of the game, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1957 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and was named to the NFL 1930s All-Decade Team.

1924 college football season

The 1924 college football season was the year of the Four Horsemen as the Notre Dame team, coached by Knute Rockne, won all of its games, including the Rose Bowl, to be acclaimed as the best team in the nation. Notre Dame and Stanford were both unbeaten at season's end, with the Fighting Irish winning the Rose Bowl contest 27-10. The Penn Quakers were retroactively awarded a national championship by Parke H. Davis.

Josh Freeman American football quarterback

Joshua Tyler Freeman is a former American football quarterback. He played college football at Kansas State University, and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Freeman was also a member of the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts, as well as the Brooklyn Bolts of the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Frank William Kirkleski was a professional American football player from Nutley, New Jersey. He played during the early years of the National Football League (NFL) for the Pottsville Maroons, Orange Tornadoes, Newark Tornadoes and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Kirkleski played college football for Lafayette College, in which he graduated from in 1927.

The 2012 NFL season was the 93rd regular season of the National Football League, began on Wednesday, September 5, 2012, with the defending Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants falling to the Dallas Cowboys 24-17 in the 2012 NFL Kickoff game at MetLife Stadium, and ended with Super Bowl XLVII, the league's championship game, on Sunday, February 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, with the Jim Harbaugh-coached San Francisco 49ers facing the John Harbaugh-coached Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens won 34-31. Super Bowl XLVII marked the first time two brothers were head coaches for opposing teams in the championship game.

Geno Smith American football quarterback

Eugene Cyril "Geno" Smith III is an American football quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at West Virginia, leading the Mountaineers to multiple Bowl games, breaking numerous passing records and garnering multiple awards before getting drafted by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. After two inconsistent seasons as the Jets' starting quarterback, Smith eventually lost his starting position due to injuries in his final two years with the team. He has also spent time as the backup for the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers, becoming the first African American quarterback to start for the former.

The 1921 Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football team represented the Georgia Tech Golden Tornado of the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1921 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football season. The team played its home games at Grant Field. Its only loss was in its only road game, at the Polo Grounds in New York City, to undefeated eastern power Penn State.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Heinie Benkert, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed January 17, 2018. "Born: June 30, 1901 in Newark, NJ... High School: East Side (NJ)"
  2. 1 2 3 Staff. "Heinie Benkert, 71, Played Halfback for Giants in 20's", The New York Times , July 17, 1972. Accessed January 17, 2018. "Henry (Heinie) Benkert, halfback in the 1920s for the New York Giants football team, died here yesterday. He was 71 years old. Mr. Benkert was a star in the early 1920s at Rutgers University, which he attended after winning all‐state honors in New Jersey on the Newark East Side High School team."
  3. "Benkert, Rutgers Star, Holds Lead in Scoring Race", Reading Times, December 1, 1924. Accessed January 17, 2018. "He was unable, however, to overtake Heinie Benkert, and the Rutgers backfield marvel leads the final list with an even 100, the only player to reach the three-figure class."
  4. Staff. "Benkert Captures 1924 Scoring Title; Rutgers Star, With 100 Points, Leads in East – Borell Ties McBride for Second With 90.", The New York Times , December 1, 1924. Accessed January 17, 2018. "Heinie Benkert's total of an even 100 points stood up during the past week as the highest mark registered by any player on the leading Eastern football teams during the season which came to a close last Saturday, and the Rutgers star takes the place occupied in 1923 by George Pfann of Cornell as the high scorer of the year."
  5. Staff. "Rutgers Crushes Lebanon Valley; Triumphs, 56 to 0, Before Crowd of 6,000 – Benkert Runs 86 Yards for Touchdown.", The New York Times , October 5, 1924. Accessed January 17, 2018. "Heinie Benkert, veteran Rutgers back, who today contributed four touchdowns and three subsequent placement kicks for a total of 27 points, covered himself with glory during the second period."
  6. Harvin, Al. "Rutgers Trounces Colgate", The New York Times , November 23, 1975. Accessed January 17, 2018. "The three 2,000 yard career men are Jennings, 2,934 (1971–73); Mitchell (2,286) ‘66–'68 and Heinie Benkert 2,124 from 1922 through 24."
  7. 1925 NFL All-Pros, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed January 17, 2018.
  8. 1925 New York Giants Statistics & Players, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed January 17, 2018.
  9. 1926 Pottsville Maroons Statistics & Players, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed January 17, 2018.
  10. 1929 Orange Tornadoes Statistics & Players, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed January 17, 2018.
  11. 1930 Newark Tornadoes Statistics & Players, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed January 17, 2018.
  12. Daly, Dan. The National Forgotten League: Entertaining Stories and Observations from Pro Football's First Fifty Years, p. 38. University of Nebraska Press, 2012. ISBN   9780803244603. Accessed January 17, 2018. "Case in point: the 1929 Orange Tornadoes. The Tornadoes didn't wear numbers on their jerseys, they wore letters. Here's their lineup for the first of two games against the Frankford Yellow Jackets:... C - Heinie Benkert, B, Rutgers"
  13. Rutgers Football 1869–1949: Eighty Years on the Gridiron, Rutgers Scarlet Knights football. Accessed January 17, 2018. "Henry Benkert, Junior Varsity Coach... He spent a number of years in pro football and high school coaching before returning to Rutgers as a coach in 1941–42."