b'who are at risk of dropping out of high school andwould not likely go to college without help from the SPORTING A VASJ HALLprogram. Each year, it provides an all-encompassing OF FAME RESUMsafety net for up to six students in every grade level.Although he didnt know anything about MUSP, A gifted athlete, Elvis Grbac recalls having morewhen school officials explained the program, Elvis scholarship offers to play college basketball thanwas on board. football. University of Michigan assistant (and futureNow a year into the assignment, Elvis has become head) football coach Gary Moeller first spotted Elvisan enthusiastic advocate of the program. These kids on the basketball court. He was in town to scoutcome from unbelievably challenging situations, but Desmond Howard, another St. Joe athlete, whoMUSP gives them a place where they can grow spiri- went on to become a legendary NFL player.tually, mentally and physically, he says. Its amazing Both Elvis and Desmond went on to stellar careersto see their transformation from freshman to senior at Michigan, winning Big Ten football titles inyear, thanks to the mentoring they receive. 1990-92. Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers inElvis believes Gods providence tends to work in 1993, Elvis then played nine seasons in the NFL with the 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs and thejust this way. God puts people in your life to help Baltimore Ravens. He earned a Pro Bowl slot inalong the wayeven though you may not realize it 2000, having tossed a total of 4,100 yards andat the time, he says. 28 touchdowns for the Chiefs that season.In 2015, Elvis became an inaugural member ofPaying it forward the VASJ Hall of Fame.Elvis has many examples of people who helped himPHOTO:AL GOLUB VIA ZUMA WIREon the gridiron. At the slightest prompt, he can reeloff the names of a dozen or so coaches who taughthim the game through the yearsand an equalnumber of former teammates who challenged him to embrace a world-class work ethic as an athlete. Elvis also credits his parents, Ivan and Cecilija, for guiding and supporting his success as a player,husband and father. And in case youre wondering:Yes, he was named after Elvis Presley. My Mom andDad were big fans, he laughs. After emigrating fromCroatia in 1968, they didnt have a penny to theirnames, but they still built this unbelievable family Elvis Grbac shown quarterbacking for the San Francisco 49erson hard work, he adds.in 1996; his best season came in 2000 as a quarterback forLooking back on all those blessings today, Elvis finds the Kansas City Chiefs, earning him a spot in Pro Bowl 2001.its easy to deflect credit for his own accomplishmentson the football field. You realize its not really you, loves them, and the kids know that. Kids are smart.its God at work, he says.They spot a phony a mile away. They know he spentOut of gratitude, he decided to pay it forward. Thats time in the NFL and could make a lot of money else-the main reason he decided to return to VASJ, where where, but he chose to come home to his alma materhe now serves as MUSP director, athletic director and and work with underprivileged kids. That says a lot,head football coach. Each of those roles provides an especially to our MUSP students.opportunity to touch livesa lot of liveshere atthe school, he says. I can form young kids in our Thanks to God in all that we doCatholic faith, and thats the one thing I really enjoy. VASJs Vikings football squad finished the season 6-4Its precisely the sort of impact school officials hoped in 2019 and narrowly missed the district playoffs. Morefor when they floated the triple-option idea during importantly, Elvis says, taking on his new roles pro-Elvis job interviews last year. Hes already made a vided the chance to introduce a new No. 1 goal forbig difference with our students, says Principal David the team (and for all VASJ athletes): to give praiseCsank. He is so approachable and genuine that the and thanks to God in all that we do.kids took to him immediately, and not just the MUSP VASJ Dean of Academics Tim NearyElviskids, but all of the kids at the school. He genuinely predecessor as MUSP directoradmires the way6 Call 1.800.348.4732'