Ernie "Pug" Rentner
- Position: Halfback
- School: Northwestern
- High School: Joliet, IL (Farragut HS)
- Years: 1930-1932
- Inducted: 1979
- Place of Birth: Joliet, IL
- Date of Birth: Sep 18, 1910
- Place of Death: Glencoe, IL
- Date of Death: Aug 24, 1978
- Jersey Number: 23
- Height: 6-1
- Weight: 185
Member BiographyHe was regarded as one of Northwestern's All-Time players.
Ernest "Pug" Rentner was probably the best all-around
halfback in the country during the years he played in Evanston.
Rentner was known for being an accurate passer and a
dazzling breakaway runner. While running, Rentner slashed
through the opposition's ground defense and slipped through
their secondary en route to another score. Rentner had great
arm strength and huge hands that enabled him to "thread the
needle" with passes of 60 yards or more. In almost every
game he played, Rentner reeled off long runs either from
scrimmage, punt returns, kickoffs or pass interceptions.
Rentner led Northwestern through an "almost" undefeated
season in 1931. The Wildcats had won every game until the
conference office decided to play extra games for charity.
Northwestern faced Purdue, and the game would count in the
standings. The night before the contest, several members of
the Northwestern team were involved in an elevator accident.
Although none of the Wildcats were seriously injured, they
were badly shaken and lost to Purdue the next day. Rentner
was chosen to the All-America team that year, along with two
other members of his team. He was selected as
Northwestern's Most Valuable Player in 1932.