|Date of birth:||July 30, 1956|
|Place of birth:||Cheverly, Maryland|
|Date of death:||March 14, 2009(aged 52)|
|Place of death:||Athens, Greece|
|NFL draft:||1979 / Round: 9 / Pick: 231|
Career NFL statistics
|Stats at NFL.com|
William Jeffrey "Jeff" Komlo (July 30, 1956 – March 14, 2009) was an American professional football quarterback who played for the Detroit Lions, the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL. He was born in Cheverly, Maryland.
Komlo played at the University of Delaware under head coach Tubby Raymond and led the Blue Hens to a second-place finish in the 1978 NCAA Division II playoffs. During his Delaware career, Komlo set 11 school records and passed for 5,256 yards.
Komlo was selected by the Lions in the ninth round of the 1979 NFL Draft, and played three seasons with the Michigan club. At the beginning of the 1979 season, due to injuries to starting quarterback Gary Danielson and back-up Joe Reed, then head coach Monte Clark chose to open the season with Komlo as the starter. He was the first rookie quarterback ever, not drafted #1 by his team, to start the first game. In his NFL career, he played in 25 games and threw for 12 touchdowns but also tossed 28 interceptions.
Later life and death
In August 2005, Komlo was featured on America's Most Wanted, after going on the lam while facing sentencing on a pair of DUI convictions in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was also facing charges of cocaine possession and assault, and police wanted to question him about possible arson at his homes in West Palm Beach and Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.
While on the run, Komlo ended up working for a hair implant clinic in Athens called NHI. The clinic caters mostly to Britons, who fly to the Greek capital for something called the Choi Method, which, according to the NHI website, is "a procedure far too labour intensive to operate in the UK."
Komlo was killed in an automobile crash in southern Athens on March 14, 2009. Pennsylvania law enforcement initially questioned whether he might have faked his own death to avoid the charges. On Thursday, March 19, the Acting Chief Chester County sheriff's detective, Jim Vito, stated that the authorities were satisfied that Komlo was dead.
- Fugitive quarterback still on the lam; WashingtonCityPaper, March 30, 2007
- Former NFL quarterback turned fugitive dies; America's Most Wanted, 14 March 2009
- Ex-NFL quarterback accused of faking own death; Sporting News, 18 March 2009
- Ex-Lions quarterback killed in Greek crash; Detroit Free Press, 20 March 2009
- "The Wrong Turn" by L. Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated (June 15, 2009)