Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Grinnell, William G. "Johnny", ca.1915-1997
William G. "Johnny" Grinnell, A1935, was born in Medford, Massachusetts. While a student at Tufts, Grinnell led the football team to one of its best seasons ever, with an 8-0 undefeated record. Grinnell was selected for the first All-American College Football team in 1934, and in 1997, became the first Tufts football player elected to the National College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana.
After studying at Tufts, Grinnell made a career in athletics, as a teacher and coach at Wilmington, Lexington, and Brookline high schools, as well as coaching football and basketball at Northeastern. During World War II he was a lieutenant senior grade in the Navy. A strong Tufts supporter, Grinnell was active in the Tufts Jumbo Club, serving as its first president, and he was a longtime member of the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston.
Grinnell died of congestive heart failure on June 26, 1997.He was posthumously inducted to the National College Football Hall of Fame that year.
Source: TA, Fall 1997
The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.