Visco Grgich

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Visco Grgich
Visco Grgich - 1951 Bowman.jpg
Grgich on a 1951 Bowman football card
Date of birth January 19, 1923
Place of birth Zlarin, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Date of death December 26, 2005(2005-12-26) (aged 82)
Place of death Modesto, California
Career information
Position(s) Guard
College Santa Clara
NFL draft 1946 / Round: 24 / Pick 224
(By the Chicago Bears)
Career history
As player
1946–1952 San Francisco 49ers
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls 1
Awards 3 All American Football Conference All Pro Teams
Career stats

Visco Grgich (January 19, 1923 – December 26, 2005) was a professional American football lineman who played in the All-America Football Conference and the National Football League. He played seven seasons for the San Francisco 49ers. He was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 1946 NFL Draft. Grgich was known as a tough and sometimes vicious two-way lineman who loved to intimidate Norm Van Brocklin. Grgich was also known for his rousing pep talks prior to games and was even brought back by Coach Frank Albert to give pep talks after his playing days were through. At the end of his pep talk, Grgich would say "This is the way you've gotta do it!" and would promptly deliver a forearm shiver to the nearest door, wall or even one of the wooden support posts in Kezar Stadium which was rumoured to be felt throughout Kezar Stadium. He is distinguished as being the first Yugoslav to play in the National Football League.

Grgich's playing career was ended by a knee injury in 1952, at which time he became a car salesman until former coach Buck Shaw demanded he turn to coaching. Grgich became the head football coach at Oakdale High School, in Oakdale, California in 1957 and 1958. He later became the offensive line coach for several years at Oakdale High School.

Grgich taught drivers education at Oakdale High School until he retired in 1986. As a teacher he was greatly loved by his many students who quickly learned you could derail a day's instruction at the mere mention of the San Francisco 49ers, at which time Grgich would bring out old reel movies of San Francisco 49ers games from his playing days. In 1982 his students raised money to pay his way to Detroit to watch his beloved San Francisco 49ers play the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. Visco continued to live in the Oakdale, California area until he was moved to Dale Commons assisted-living facility in Modesto, California shortly prior to his wife Grace, the country and western singer known as "Sioux City Sue," died in 2001. Visco and Sue had 4 children, Steve, Vikki, Toni and Mike. Visco died Monday December 26, 2005 at a Modesto, California hospital.

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