Inductees Peoria Manual High School suddenly needed a new football coach in 1949 when Tony Juska, who had gone 8-1-1 to bring the school out of the football doldrums, was hired by Bradley. Heads turned toward the northwest. Coming in from Montana to succeed Juska was a burly young man named Bob Jauron. A former fullback for legendary coach Frank Leahy at Boston College, Jauron was about as devoted to the game as Leahy himself. What happened was perhaps beyond anyone's fondest dreams.
The result was unbeaten seasons in 1949 and 1950 and 22 victories in succession before the streak ended in the midst of a 7-3 season in 1951. A 14-0 loss at Mishawaka, Indiana, ended the streak in the third game of the season. Jauron also left then to fill a variety of football coaching jobs before retiring in Swampscott, Mass.
Jauron's first two Manual teams simply overwhelmed almost every opponent. It outscored the opposition 637-79 in the 20 games with its closest tests 6-0 and 7-0 victories over Kewanee, 6-2 over Spalding, and 7-0 over Pekin. Other teams were totally blitzed: Central 45-0, Spalding 37-0, Decatur 58-6, Lincoln 43-7 among others.
Jauron's teams had fine size, a stout defense, an exceptional fullback in Bob Peake and a bunch of small but quick and deadly running backs. One of the latter was Vern Woosley who played at 5 foot 9 and 135 pounds, making the Greater Peoria first team, later playing at 145 at Bradley.
As a Coach, Bob Jauron was a stern and demanding person. Very innovative, he was far ahead of his time in coaching knowledge, even running from the "I" formation that was unheard of at that time. He even changed Dick Echard, now deceased, a fine pass catcher, to quarterback.
Under Jauron, Manual had four players on the All-Greater Peoria first team in 1949. The following season, after his streak hit 20-0, eight of the 12 players to make the Greater Peoria team were from Manual: end Gene WaIler, tackles Joe Schaab and Elmo Petty, guard Lou Roberts, center Dick Lolrman and running backs Peake, Woosley and Lou Alcaraz.
Ken Hinrichs, later one of the most successful local coaches during a long career at Manual, and the late Eddie Stonebock, Manual's brilliant baseball coach, were Jauron's assistants during the two seasons. Both were admitted to the GP Hall during earlier induction banquets.
Peoria Manual High School suddenly needed a new football coach in 1949 when Tony Juska, who had gone 8-1-1 to bring the school out of the football doldrums, was hired by Bradley. Heads turned toward the northwest. Coming in from Montana to succeed Juska was a burly young man named Bob Jauron. A former fullback for legendary coach Frank Leahy at Boston College, Jauron was about as devoted to the game as Leahy himself. What happened was perhaps beyond anyone's fondest dreams.
Ulrich has coached in the Junior Football League and youth baseball for 32 years, while also serving as president of numerous youth leagues and director of the Peoria Diocesan basketball tournament. He began volunteering as coach for the Richwoods Browns JFL team in 1971 and served in a coaching or administrative capacity for the Richwoods JFL program from 1971-89. In addition, he served as a coach and president of the Richwoods League League, as well as Pony League, from 1975-85. During that same period, he coached the Bergan All-Star Pony League from 1981-84. In his role as St. Thomas Grade School athletic director for 32 years, Ulrich directed the 11 boys (six) and girls (five) basketball teams for 27 years, scheduling tournaments, ordering uniforms and hiring officials among his many duties. He also served as director of the Peoria Diocesan Tournament for 14 years. Ulrich coached basketball at Peoria Heights Grade School from 2006-11 and he volunteered as manager of a fastpitch team in the Peoria Park District Softball League for 23 years, while also playing on the team for several seasons. He currently is completing his two-year stint as the St. Philomena School 5th Grade boys basketball team and is preparing for his second year of coaching in the Irish youth baseball program.