Football quarterback, businessman, philanthropist
Born: March 23, 1951, in Lackawanna, New York
Lives in: Voorhees Township, New Jersey
New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2022: Sports
Born and raised in Western New York, Ron Jaworski was a three-sport standout in high school and starred at quarterback at Youngstown State University in Ohio. At Youngstown, he set single season and career records for passing completions and passing yardage. His performance attracted the attention of National Football League scouts.
When the 1973 NFL draft rolled around, Jaworski was chosen in the second round by the Los Angeles Rams. Two years later, Jaworski helped the Rams reach the NFC Championship game as a backup quarterback. He got his chance to be a fulltime starter after a trade to the Philadelphia Eagles before the 1977 season. With Jaworski leading the offense, the Eagles won the NFC Championship in 1980, but lost the Super Bowl to the Oakland Raiders. That season, Jaworski—nicknamed “Jaws” by a teammate—played in the Pro Bowl and was named UPI’s Player-of-the-Year.
In 1981, Jaworski led the Eagles to their fourth straight playoff appearance; they lost in the Wild Card round to the New York Giants. By 1986, injuries had hampered Jaworski’s performance and his tenure with the Eagles came to an end. He closed out his pro career mainly as a backup with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs, retiring after the 1989 season.
At the time of his retirement, Jaworski was the Eagles’ all-time leader in wins, passing yards, pass completions, pass attempts and passing touchdowns. In all, he tallied 2,187 completions on 4,117 attempts for 28,190 yards, including 179 touchdowns.
After retiring from football, Jaworski started a second, successful career as a color commentator for ESPN on “Monday Night Football” and other broadcasts. He also ventured into business, as part owner and team president of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. His Ron Jaworski Golf organization owns or manages seven highly regarded golf courses, including Blue Heron Pines, Ramblewood, RiverWinds, Running Deer and Valleybrook—all in New Jersey.
Jaworski and his wife, Liz, are also known for their generous philanthropy and community support, principally through their Jaws Youth PlayBook, a family foundation that has long worked to improve the health and wellness of at-risk youth in the Greater Philadelphia/South Jersey area.