National Football Foundation

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College Football Hall of Famer J.C. Caroline Passes Away
Caroline, a 1980 inductee from Illinois, was 84.
Published: 11/20/2017 11:54:00 AM

J.C. Caroline, a 1980 College Football Hall of Fame inductee from the University of Illinois, passed away Nov. 17. He was 84.

Caroline is one of the best running backs in Illinois history. He led the nation in rushing as a sophomore in 1953, gaining 1,256 yards in nine games to set the Big Ten record at the time and helping the Illini to a 7-1-1 record and a share of the conference title. He finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

As a junior in 1954, Caroline rushed for 440 yards in four games. An injury forced him to miss the rest of the season.

Caroline signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 1955 before joining the Chicago Bears for a decade, where he mainly played defensive back. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and finished with 24 career interceptions.

Caroline worked as an assistant coach at Illinois before becoming a physical education teacher and coach in Urbana, Ill.

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