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William Grinnell


William Gordon Grinnell

Inducted 1997

Date of Birth



Boston, MA


Tufts University (1932-1934)


William G. "Johnny" Grinnell played three years at end, 1932-34, for the Tufts Jumbos. He stood 5-9 in height, weighed 158, and called plays from his end position. In 1934, the Associated Press picked its first Little All-America team. Grinnell made it, along with players from Davidson, Gonzaga, and similar schools. The Jumbos won close games. In 1934, they finished 8-0, winning two games by 7-0, two by 6-0, and one by 7-6. On the season, they scored 91 points to opponents' 9. Tufts awarded only 14 letters that year. In Grinnell's first two years Tufts went 11-3-2, won games by 6-0, 6-2, 6-3, and had ties of 0-0 and 9-9. After his college days, Grinnell coached at three Massachusetts high schools--Lexington, Wilmington and Brookline. He served in the Navy in World War II as a lieutenant. In 1946-48 he was football and basketball coach at Northeastern University. He was the first president of the Tufts Jumbo Club. His election to the College Football Hall of Fame was saluted by Rocky Corzo, Tufts director of athletics: "A tremendous honor for him and the university. It's like having one of your professors win the Nobel Prize."


Height 5'9

Weight 158

Career Highlights

  • 1934 First Team All-America (College Div.)
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