Rube Ursella

Reuben J. (Horatio) Ursella
Position: E/FB/HB/WB/HC
Height: 5' 9'' Weight: 170
Born: 1/11/1890, MN, USA
College: none

RII: 1917,1919,1920,1924,1925,

*1918 - In Service

Coached Team: 1917, 1919, 1920, 1924,1925


Known for his leadership on the field "Rube" Ursella was a player as well as a coach. Aside from Manager/Owner Walter Flanigan Rube is probably the most important person in Independents history. Rube came to Rock Island as a player/coach in 1919 and brought half of the Minneapolis Marines with. If not for the great season he led the team to that year they would have not been invited to play in the inagural season of the league that would become the NFL. Rube started every game at quarterback and led the team to a 9-1-1 record. It is assumed that Rube led professional football in scoring in 1919. He came back to lead the NFL Independents to winning years in 1924 and 1925.


1919 - Rube Ursella

Photo - Crop from 1919 Team Photo

Rube Ursella learned all of his football outside of the college game. Ursella consistently met all expectations and proved that a man can learn to play this great game without the advantage of college coaching.

Rube brought the famous Minnesota Shift to Rock Island when he joined the team for the last game of the season in 1917.

Middle name of Horatio found on 11-12-20.

His wife's name was Hazel M. UrsellaRube Passed away Feb 1, 1980 and is burried next to his wife at Fort Snelling National Cemetary in Minneapolis Minnesota


RI Argus - September - 1917

Rock Island Argus - September 1917