Born: January 6, 1913
Died: August 18, 1994
John Weller was born January 6, 1913 in Atlanta and grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. The boy everyone called “Jac“ began his football career as a boarding student at the Hun School in Princeton in the early 1930s. Quick, smart and rock solid, Jac joined Fritz Crisler’s Princeton Tigers and was accorded the honor of uniform #99, signifying that he was the best player on the team.
Jac played the line for Princeton from 1933 to 1935, earning a reputation as a fierce blocker and tackler, and for his team leadership. The Tigers were a perfect 9–0 in Jac’s sophomore and senior seasons, and were regarded as the national champions both years. Princeton’s only loss while he captained the varsity was a 7–0 defeat in 1934 at the hands of Yale in front of a stunned home crowd at Palmer Stadium. The 1934 team had outscored opponents 280 to 31 heading into the contest. In 1935, Jac was a consensus All-American at the guard position. Hall of Famer Tad Wieman, who was on Crisler’s staff, said Jac was the best lineman he ever coached.
Jac stayed in Princeton after graduation and opened an insurance and real estate office. He became an expert in firearms and military tactics and authored several books on the Duke of Wellington. In 1957, Jac was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was active in a wide range of outdoor sports during his life, but heart problems (cardiomyopathy) sidelined him in his late 70s. His wife of 55 years, Cornelia, predeceased him in 1992. Jac became depressed and died in 1994 after turning one of his guns on himself.