John (Bull) Karcis got his nickname from his
5'-9" 245 pound physique and from his habit of running over
opponents as a fullback, but he was equally effective as a tackle during
his high school, college, and pro football careers. At Monaca High
School in the early 1920s, he played on three grid teams that won
county titles and earned All WPIAL and All County honors three
times. John entered Carnegie Tech in 1927 and in his sophomore
year helped upset Notre Dame, 27-7, the first home loss for Knute Rockne’s Irish in 22 years.
John played all 60 minutes in
the 1931 North-South Game at Mobile, Alabama, and later that year played semipro football for the JP Rooneys in Pittsburgh.
football career included action with the Brooklyn Dodgers,
Pittsburgh Pirates (now Steelers), and the Boston Redskins, all of
the National Football League. He was a member of the New York Giants
when they won the NFL title in 1938 by beating Green Bay, 23-13. In
1942, John was an assistant to Coach Bill Edwards of the Detroit
Lions, who was fired after three games. John was named head coach
for the remainder of the season, but the Lions lost eight straight
games and he was released. He also coached football at the Pitcairn,
North Catholic, West Deer, and New Kensington High Schools. John
died September 4, 1973.