Taft Alumni Hall of Fame  TAA Logo

James S. Grabowski, June 1962

Jim Grabowski (Jun 1962)Jim’s yearbook declared, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”  At Taft he was a member of Coach Joe Kupcinet’s famous Taft Eagles.

A fullback for the Univ. of Illinois football team, he was “Most Valuable Player” at the 1964 Rose Bowl, and was twice named both All-American and Academic All-American. In 1965 he was the Big 10’s Player of the Year.

In 1966, he was top draft choice for the Green Bay Packers, where he played in Super Bowls I and II, and was a team member until 1971.

He played with the Chicago Bears in 1971 and 1972, inspiring Mike Ditka to ask later, “Get me a Grabowski, “ making him a household word. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
For 30 years Jim served as analyst for University of Illinois radio broadcasts and Big 10 Conference games, retiring after the 2006-2007 season. He later became president of Motivation Merchandise Corporation, a sales promotion company.