Elvis Grbac

Induction Year: 2007 Sport: Football

It was apparent soon after Elvis Grbac arrived at St. Joseph High School that the storied athletic power on the shores of Lake Erie had landed another special talent to compete in the Columbus blue and scarlet. The sturdy 6-5 youngster made his first impact in basketball, then added football to his resume in his junior year in 1987. Although playing in a run-oriented offense, featuring a remarkable talent named Desmond Howard, he attracted enough attention on the gridiron to earn honorable mention All-Ohio honors and a decade later would become the first Viking athlete to be honored be having his numbers retired in two sports – # 12 in football and # 53 in basketball. Originally interested in continuing his football career at Ohio State, he changed his mind when the Buckeyes fired Head Coach Earl Bruce and opted instead to join teammate Howard at Michigan. It was a great move for both Michigan and Howard. As a four-year starter for the Wolverines, Grbac led them to four Big 10 titles, leading the conference in passing in 1990, 1991 and 1992 while setting nine Michigan passing records. In 1991 he threw the legendary pass to Howard which sealed a 27-24 victory over Notre Dame and led to Howard’s now immortal “Heisman Pose” in the end zone celebration. Drafted by San Francisco 49’ers in 1994, and serving in his rookie year as the backup to Steve Young on a Super Bowl championship team, he went on to play seven more seasons, starting 69 of the 106 games he played for San Francisco (1994-96), Kansas City (1997-2000) and Baltimore (2001). He currently makes his home in Chagrin Falls.