#23 Bill “Moose” Fischer: Notre Dame Football’s Top 25 Players

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Bill Fischer made the short trek from Chicago and played for Hugh Devore’s ’45 team while Leahy and Lujack were in the service, and Leon Hart was making high school history in Turtle Creek, PA.

Fischer was one of the few successful returnees when Notre Dame’s team assembled for 1946. No one, EVER, has brought in an infusion of talent like Leahy did in 1946.

He brought in incoming freshmen like Leon Hart and players like Lujack, Martin and many more who had been “in training” in the Pacific and European theatres in World War II. Fischer, with Hart, was one of the younger players, but in intensity, drive and performance he took no back seat to the returning veterans of America’s Greatest Generation. He fit right in.

Fischer was ready, and he never lost again through his senior season in ’48. He was a key player on the dominant ’46-’48 teams, football’s greatest dynasty.   At 6’2” 226 lbs, he was not the giant that Hart was, but was massive for his era, the time when “watch-charm” guards were prized. He fell heir to the “Moose” nickname initially bestowed on fellow Chicagoan Edwin “Moose” Krause. Moose Krause, before he was elevated to become Athletic Director, was an Irish assistant for Frank Leahy and Moose Krause was coaching Moose Fischer.

With George Connor, Zygmont Carobski and Jim Martin, he helped pave the way for Emil Sitko to earn the moniker “Six yard Sitko.” In ’46 the Irish gained over 3,000 rushing yards and allowed only 760. The beat went on and the Irish averaged over 2,900 yards each year that Bill Fischer started.

Fischer, unlike his clown prince teammate, Zygmont Czarobski, was quiet, unassuming.   Frank Leahy had played offensive tackle for Rockne. Leahy knew a great offensive lineman when he saw one, and valued the quiet efficiency of a powerful craftsman like Fischer.

Bill Fischer was a consensus All-American in ’47 and ’48, a senior captain and outland Trophy winner in ’48.

Moose Fischer was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

23) Bill “Moose” Fischer, Left Guard, 1945-1948

23 ) Todd Lyght, Cornerback, 1987-1990

25.) Louis “Red” Salmon, Fullback, 1900-1903

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