Professional Football Player. He played the position of defensive lineman in the National Football League, Canadian Football League, and the American Football League for seven seasons (1958 to 1964) with the New York Giants, Ottawa Rough Riders, and Oakland Raiders. Born Jon Francis Jelacic in Brainerd, Minnesota, he was educated locally and attended high school at the Brainerd High School in Brainerd, Minnesota. While at Brainerd High School he played on the school's state championship basketball squad. After graduating from Brainerd High School he attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he played collegiate football in the end position with the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team. He was also named Team Captain to the Minnesota Golden Gophers 1957 team. That year alone under the guidance of coach Murray Warmath, and having such talents as quarterback Dick Larson (he received the team's Most Valuable Player award that year), fullback Dick Borstad, offensive lineman Perry Gehring, and offensive lineman Mike Svendsen the team compiled a 4–5 record and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 201 to 188. There total attendance at five home games was 314,769, an average of 62,953. They were also were named Academic All-Big Ten. An all-around athlete he also excelled in basketball and track and field during his time at the University of Minnesota. After graduating from the University of Minnesota he was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in the 7th round of the 1958 National Football League Draft but he never played with them. He instead joined the National Football League's New York Giants and played with them for nine games in 1958. He then signed with the Canadian Football League's Ottawa Rough Riders and played with them for two seasons from 1959 to 1960. With the Canadian Football League's Ottawa Rough Riders he was part of the 48th Grey Cup Winning Championship Team in 1960. During this time he was coached by the legendary Frank Clair and his teammates included such greats as Jim Conroy, Milt Graham, Larry Hayes, Ronnie Koes, Bruno Bitkowski, Marv Bevan, Gilles Archambault, Curt Merz, Joe Stracina, Moe Racine, Kaye Vaughan, Jerry Selinger, and many others. The game which was played at the Empire Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, on November 26, 1960, saw the Canadian Football League's Ottawa Rough Riders defeating the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Oilers with a score of 16-6 in front of 38, 102 screaming fans. He finished out his playing career with the American Football League's Oakland Raiders who he played with for four seasons (1961 to 1964). While playing with the American Football League's Oakland Raiders he was named Outstanding Raider of the Year. After retiring as a player he worked as a scout for the National Football League's Green Bay Packers and the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons. He passed away at the age of 56, from natural causes in his sleep while staying at his lakeside cabin near Bemidji, Minnesota. He was inducted into the Brainerd High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the Jon Jelacic Memorial Athletic Scholarships were established by the school in his honor.
Bio by: Kris 'Peterborough K' Peterson
Irene T. Turgeon Jelacic