Joe Kopcha
No. 22, 29, 18
Personal information
Born:(1905-12-23)December 23, 1905
Whiting, Indiana
Died:July 29, 1986(1986-07-29) (aged 80)
Hobart, Indiana
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:221 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Whiting (IN)
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:72
Games started:56
Receiving yards:24
Player stats at · PFR

Joseph Edwards Kopcha (December 23, 1905 – July 29, 1986) is a former professional American football player.

Kopcha played eight years in the National Football League, mainly for the Chicago Bears. He was an guard. Kopcha attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he studied to become an obstetrician,[1] and played professional football in order to fund his university studies.[2] Kopcha played for the Detroit Lions when he obtained an internship at Harper Hospital, after previously studying at the Rush Medical College when playing for the Bears.[3] Kopcha used his knowledge to redesign the shoulder pads worn by players, with his basic designs still in use today.[4]


  1. ^ Layden, Elmer (November 1936). "College Athletics Over-Emphasised? No!". The Rotarian. 49 (5): 60.
  2. ^ Carroll, John M (2004). Red Grange and the Rise of Modern Football. United States: University of Illinois Press. p. 175. ISBN 0-252-07166-2.
  3. ^ Heise, Kenan. "Dr. Joseph Kopcha, 80, Guard For Bears In '30s". Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  4. ^ Braunwart, Bob. "DR. JOE: A GUARD'S GUARD" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2013.