THE INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY OF
LEONARD "GRAVEYARD" GARRETT
Born poor in the segregated south, LEONARD “GRAVEYARD” GARRETT thought he’d hit the jackpot when he was recruited by The Green Bay Packers. But reality struck like a linebacker’s head-butt as glory on the football field gave way to juggling part-time jobs to make ends meet and being treated like a soulless chip in somebody else’s poker game.
Like so many players, Garrett sustained head injuries from his football days. He still awaits the compensation he is due, while NFL lawyers seem bent on running out the clock waiting for 3,000 aging players to die without justice. But Garrett never let adversity set him back.
Determined to reclaim control of his own destiny, Garrett left the NFL in 1976 and embarked on a career in higher education administration.
Overcoming relentless racial and political obstacles, struggling daily “to adjust to living in a world designed for others,” he advanced his own education and his position into the top echelons of the college hierarchy, only to reach retirement feeling somehow incomplete.
That’s when he realized his greatest achievements still lay ahead: helping build a world designed for everyone.
This is the story of his journey.
“This is the inspirational story of a young man from the Job Corps who walked
into my office at New Mexico Highlands University and asked to join the football team
as a freshman. He went on to play in the NFL, played 5 years,
and then pursued his doctorate degree to become an educator to young people.”
~ John Levra, former defensive coach for the Buffalo Bills and the Minnesota Vikings