Class of 1950
Inducted in 1999
Charlie was inducted into the SHSAA Packer Sports Greats in 1999.
Charles Bryant earned all-state honors in football while playing at Omaha South. He also earned a letter on the Packers’ wrestling team.
He went to NU without a scholarship as a freshman, despite earning all-state honors at South (blacks weren’t offer scholarships at that time). It didn't stop him; he just kept working. When you're 5-feet-11, sub-200 pounds and a lineman to boot, you don't have much choice.
The first black player in modern Husker history in 1952, the first black athlete to earn All-Conference honors at Nebraska, and to letter for the Huskers since 1913. Bryant earned All-Big Seven honors. In 2000, World-Herald readers voted Bryant No. 44 on the school's top-50 list of all-time players and he was ranked No. 89 on the newspaper's 2005 ranking of the state's all-time best athletes.
He also earned three letters in wrestling, winning the Big Seven 167-pound championship in 1955.
Bryant taught for 23 years in the Omaha Public Schools system, and in 1973 was hired as assistant principal at Omaha Benson. He moved to Omaha Bryan in 1977 and served as athletic director. Prior to that, Bryant was an assistant football coach at Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs and became the first black to earn a head coaching job in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area when he took over the school's wrestling program in 1962.
Bryant died of colon cancer in December of 2004. He was 71.