Tyrone Keith McGriff Sr.

Tyrone Keith McGriff Sr.


Tyrone Keith McGriff SrA native of Gifford, Fla., was born on January 13, 1958, to Harry and Dollie McGriff. Tyrone graduated in 1976 from Vero Beach Senior High School. He played on varsity Football team being select as an All-state and All-area player.

Tyrone was one of the top recruits in the nation his senior year, receiving offers from many of the largest Division 1 programs in the nation. As one of the top recruits for the University of Florida, many thought he was a lock to wear the Orange and Blue in Gainesville, Fl. Tyrone would, however, take the advice of his mentor and Coach Bill Wilson and attend Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. While at Florida A&M University, he would earn a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and graduate with Honors.

Tyrone earned College All-American honors during 1977, 1978, and 1979 season and was a four-time All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection (1976-79). During the 1980 NFL Draft, Tyrone would be named, Mr. Irrelevant as the last pick (333rd overall) of the draft. Tyrone would play three seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers, becoming the first player to be the last man drafted to start during his rookie season and make the NFL all-rookie team. He then played three seasons in the USFL as a member of the 1983 USFL champions as a starting guard for the Michigan Panthers, for whom he also played for in 1984. In the 1985 season, Tyrone signed a contract with the Memphis Showboats and played with the likes of Reggie White and many other all-time greats. In 1986, Tyrone was inducted into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame. He would then go on to be apart of the first group of small college players enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

Tyrone served as an assistant coach at Florida A&M University from 1986-88, Tennessee State University (1988-89) and Bethune-Cookman College (1990-93). While at Bethune-Cookman, he would serve as the interim head coach in 1993. He ended his collegiate coaching career as an Assistant Coach at Grambling University from 1998-2000.

McGriff passed away in 2000 of a heart attack while in serving as the Director of the Gifford Youth Activity Center. McGriff is survived by his two children April and Tyrone McGriff Jr. and wife Barbara Rollins McGriff.

Tyrone McGriff’s love for the youth and his community was beyond measure. His uplifting voice, contagious smile and gentle demeanor earned him the name “Gentle Giant”.