The Kahler Clan


The Kahler brothers both hailed from Grand Island, Nebraska and played for the Cornhuskers from 1938-40, culminating in the 1941 Rose Bowl where they lost to Clark Shaughnessy’s T formation Stanford team, 21-13.

Younger brother Royal, a 6’2” 226 pound tackle, was drafted by Philadelphia in the fifth round of the 1941 draft. Because of the strange franchise trade between the Bert Bell/Art Rooney-owned Philadelphia entry and the Alex Thompson-owned Pittsburgh entry, King Kong Kahler ended up with the Bell/Rooney Steelers in 1941 and appeared in nine games.

Royal returned to Pittsburgh in 1942, but left training camp after a week in August because he did not like Coach Walt Kiesling and his harsh training methods. Curly Lambeau acquired his rights, and Royal joined brother Bob in Green Bay for 1942 before serving in the military. A one-time police officer, Kahler later worked as a senior safety engineer for ammunition plants.

Older brother Bob was a track star and a speedy 6’3” 200 pound halfback. At Nebraska, he lettered on the track team and set a national indoor 70-yard low hurdles record with a 7.8 second time. He signed with Lambeau after the Rose Bowl game, but was cut in 1941. From 1942-44, though, Bob appeared in 19 games for Green Bay as a reserve. In that time, he ran the ball nine times, caught two passes, returned one punt and played in the defensive backfield.

After a year in the Air Force, Bob spent 1946 as an assistant at his alma mater. In 1947 and 1948, he coached high school football and track, then coached at Wayne State in 1948, and Northern Illinois from 1949-54. After one 0-8-1 season as head coach at NIU, Kahler coached high school football in St. Petersburg, Florida from 1956-58, and then resigned to pursue his doctorate in education.


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