Bob Berry, former Pro Bowl QB, dies at 81

Bob Berry (file photo)


Robert Chadwick Berry (March 10, 1942 – April 17, 2023) was an American professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for twelve seasons. He was selected to one Pro Bowl in 1969 as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. Berry was a member of three Super Bowl teams with the Minnesota Vikings in the mid-1970s.

Berry died in Santa Cruz on April 17, 2023, at the age of 81.


Born and raised in San Jose, California, Berry played football at Willow Glen High School, where his father was a longtime head coach. He graduated in 1960 and played college football at Oregon, where he was a three-year letter winner under head coach Len Casanova. At Oregon, Berry teamed with future Pro Football Hall of Famers Mel Renfro and Dave Wilcox and led the Ducks to three consecutive winning seasons. In his junior year in 1963, Oregon’s last as an independent, the Ducks beat SMU 21–14 in the Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve. (The Pacific-8 conference did not allow a second bowl team until 1975).

Berry was named a first-team All-American after his senior season, despite being edged out as All-Pacific-8 quarterback by Craig Morton of California. In the balloting for the Heisman Trophy won by John Huarte of Notre Dame, Berry was thirteenth, just behind Joe Namath (Alabama) and Gale Sayers (Kansas). His teammates named him the outstanding player and he played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl.

In 1985, Berry received the university’s distinguished alumnus award. Berry was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1987 and the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

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