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THE LIFE OF JAWS

PHOTO CREDIT: YOUNGSTOWN STATE ATHLETICS

By Kristin Seidler

YOUNGSTOWN, OH- Ron Jaworski was born March 23rd, 1951, one of three children of William and Mildred “Molly” Jaworski in Lackawanna, New York.  Lackawanna is a small city directly south of Buffalo that thrived around the Bethlehem Steel plant which employed thousands of workers.  Bill Jaworski, Sr was one of these workers who wanted better for Ron than employment in a steel mill.  He arranged for Ron to work there one summer so that Ron would understand the value of a college education.

A talented three-sport high school athlete, Ron developed into an outstanding quarterback and received numerous scholarship offers from major universities., despite the fact that he carried 160 lbs on his 6 ft 2-inch frame.  But when the coach at Youngstown State University promised Ron that he would be able to pass thirty times a game, Jaworski responded “Where do I sign?”. In addition, when signing with YSU, he turned down an offer from the St. Louis Cardinals to play baseball.

Jaworski played a major role in turning around the program at YSU, and in his senior year ranked fifth in the nation among college division quarterbacks.

In 1974, he was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Rams but played on the taxi squad until 1975, when starting quarterback James Harris was injured.  He played sporadically for the next year and was traded to Philadelphia in 1976.

There he was the starting quarterback and in his second season led the Eagles to its first winning record in twelve years.  Soon Jaworski became one of the NFL’s powerhouse quarterbacks.  “Rifle Ron”s” powerful arm and quick release instilled confidence in his receivers.  In 1980 everything came together for Jaworski and the Eagles.  In recognition of his superb season, Ron was named NFL Player of the Year.  The Eagles won the NFC Championship but lost to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XV.

By 1987, age and injuries had taken their toll on “Jaws”.  Although he was willing to continue with the team in a backup role, the popular 36-year-old quarterback was traded to the Miami Dolphins.  After two seasons with Miami, he signed as a free agent with Kansas City.  In 1989, he retired to pursue his business ventures full-time.

Considered one of the top quarterbacks in NFL history, he ranks thirteenth 

on the NFL all-time yards passing list, ahead of Pro Football Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw and Joe Namath.

Jaworski has received multiple awards celebrating his football achievements.  He was voted by his teammates as the Ed Black Courage Award recipient in 1985 by the Philadelphia Eagles.

While still playing for the Eagles, in 1986,  Ron was inducted into the YSU Sports Hall of Fame.  In 1991, he was inducted into the National Polish-American Hall of Fame.

In 1992, Jaworski was inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Honour Roll, and in 1994, he was nominated for admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in his first year of eligibility 

Jaworski has also shown outstanding dedication to his community endeavors and volunteer work for which he has garnered multiple awards as well.  In 1997, he received the Pinnacle Award from the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce for his outstanding volunteer work and long-time service to the South Jersey Chamber as well as the business community.

In 1997 he received the Bert Bell Man of the Year Award from the Eagles Fly For Leukemia, which is given to the person who has contributed significantly to the NFL.

IN 1998, The United Way honored Ron with their Volunteer Leadership Award, which is the highest award given by the United Way.

Over the years, Jaworski has served as a TV spokesman for Goodwill Industries, The US Department of Labor, the US Savings Bond program, United Way, and Harder”s among others.

In addition, Ron does more than fifty motivational speeches yearly for various organizations.

Jaworski is a well-known broadcast personality, having done NFL color commentary as well as Monday Night Football commentary for ESPN for many years.

Currently, Ron is the CEO of Ron Jaworski Golf Management, Inc based out of Blackwood, New Jersey, and manages golf courses and luxury properties in southern New Jersey,  northeast Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Jaworski lives with his wife, Liz, in Voorhees Township, New Jersey.  They have three children.

 

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