PASSINGS: Bob Chappuis, Dennis Hamilton

Bob Chappuis

All-American halfback

Bob Chappuis, 89, an All-American halfback with the University of Michigan who led the Wolverines to an overwhelming victory over USC in the 1948 Rose Bowl game after an undefeated 1947 season distinguished by his agile running and passing, died June 14 in Ann Arbor, Mich., after hospitalization because of a fall, the university said.

Chappuis played football for the Wolverines in 1942 before World War II interrupted his career. An aerial gunner and radio operator on B-25 bombers, he was shot down over Italy on his 21st mission but was rescued by Italian partisans, who sheltered him until the war’s end.


He resumed playing for the Wolverines in 1946 and earned unanimous first-team All-America honors and second place in the Heisman Trophy balloting in the 1947 season. He led the 1947 team, known as the “Mad Magicians,” to an undefeated season and the national title.

He helped his team deliver USC’s worst defeat at the time, when it won the 1948 Rose Bowl 49-0. He was named the game’s MVP, setting two records for total offense and pass completions. He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame and continues to hold the Big Ten Conference single-season passer rating record.

He played in the All-America Football Conference for two years in the late 1940s as the starting quarterback for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Hornets. When the league folded in 1950, he retired from football.

Born Feb. 24, 1923, in Toledo, Ohio, Chappuis became a labor relations director in Fort Wayne, Ind. His World War II exploits were chronicled in the 2006 book “From Playing Field to Battlefield” by Rob Newell.


Dennis Hamilton

Player for Lakers, Atlanta Hawks

Dennis Hamilton, 68, a former NBA and ABA player who spent a season with the Lakers in the late 1960s, died Monday in Chandler, Ariz., according to Arizona State University, where he spent three years as a starter. He had been battling cancer.

Hamilton played for the Lakers in 1967-68 and for the Atlanta Hawks in 1968-69. He then moved to the American Basketball Assn., spending a season with the Pittsburgh Pipers and another in 1970-71 with the Kentucky Colonels.

During his brief time with the Lakers, he proved to be a dependable player. In 44 games with the team, the 6-foot-8 forward made all 13 of his free throws.

When Lakers coach Butch van Breda Kolff was ejected from the second half of a game, he called on Hamilton and teammate Gail Goodrich to coach the team. The Lakers won that game, and for years afterward Hamilton hung a newspaper clipping about the victory on the wall in his home.

Dennis Eugene Hamilton was born May 8, 1944, in California and was a basketball star at Huntington Beach High. At Arizona State, he scored more than 1,000 points and posted the fourth-highest free-throw percentage in school history, making 81.3% from 1963 to 1966.

-- Times staff and wire reports


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