Former Chief Tim Grunhard touches lives in role as parent, coach - KCTV5 News

Former Chief Tim Grunhard touches lives in role as parent, coach

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Tim Grunhard put his stamp on Kansas City sports as an 11-year Kansas City Chiefs player. (KCTV5) Tim Grunhard put his stamp on Kansas City sports as an 11-year Kansas City Chiefs player. (KCTV5)

If Joe Montana and Marcus Allen were the face of the Chiefs offense back in the 1990s, Tim Grunhard was the guts.

Grunhard was a throwback to the days when guys played hard and played hurt, but who knew that this "toughest of men" had a hidden side.

Grunhard put his stamp on Kansas City sports as an 11-year Kansas City Chiefs player. Now, as a high school football coach and as a parent, in some ways, the Grunhards might be Kansas City's "first family of football."

Last week, Colin Grunhard scored a touchdown for Bishop Miege on a trick play...

"The moment I photographed the play, I realized, 'Hey, I did a story on Colin when he was just a baby,'" KCTV5 News sports producer Neal Jones said.

It was the summer of 1999 and Tim Grunhard was at Chiefs Training Camp in Wisconsin. While his wife, Sarah Grunhard, was home in Kansas City with 2-year-old son C.J. and 11-month-old twins Colin and Cailey.

It was a tough time for dad to be away from his kids.

"You know, you feel like you're missing everything," Tim Grunhard said.

Today, C.J. is a sophomore at Notre Dame while Cailey and Colin are star athletes at Bishop Miege. Cailey's just signed to swim at Notre Dame next year while Colin spearheads a Stags offensive line that's making yet another postseason run.

"He's played in three state championships," Tim Grunhard said.

But it hasn't always been easy following in their dad's footsteps.

"It's been really, really difficult, I think, on my kids," Tim Grunhard said.

Tim Grunhard has been able to coach both boys at Bishop Miege.

"Colin has really handled it well. He has my personality," Tim Grunhard said.

"He taught me everything in football that I know, and he's a great coach," Colin said.

However, C.J. didn't handle it as well, his father says, That little boy, who loved football so much, ended up turning down college football offers and giving up the sport.

"He was a heck of a football player, but I think it was a relief to him to get out of that sport and do something else," Tim Grunhard said.

While Cailey and her younger sister Cassie are blazing their own trails as swimmers, Cailey does hope to continue one family tradition.

"Sarah's grandfather was an All-American track athlete on the pole vault. Her father was an All-American track athlete in the pole vault, and I was a football All-American at Notre Dame. So I think four generations of All-Americans at Notre Dame ... I think that's her goal right now," Tim Grunhard said.

After six years as head coach at Bishop Miege, Tim Grunhard spent two seasons at the University of Kansas under Charlie Weis. But his love of his kids brought him back to Bishop Miege as an assistant coach.

"It was hard when he was coaching football at KU. It took him away from the family a lot," Sarah Grunhard said.

Tim Grunhard won a national championship at Notre Dame, three divisional titles with the Chiefs and four high school state championships as a coach. But perhaps his most-fulfilling success has come as a father.

"I played a sport that gave me an opportunity. I had a job that gave me an opportunity to spend more time with my kids, and I've been so blessed to do that," Tim Grunhard said.

Tim Grunhard was known around the NFL as a tough, intensely competitive football player. But one look at Grunhard "the man" shows us a very different side.

At the end of his career, Tim Grunhard was offered spots by other NFL teams, but he chose to stay in Kansas City where he's touched thousands of lives as a coach and as a devoted parent.

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