Thursday, November 8, 2012

SaberCats Legend, Quarterback Mark Grieb Announces Retirement

The SaberCats announced today that their all-time leader in a litany of offensive statistical categories, quarterback Mark Grieb, has retired from the Arena Football League. Grieb, a three-time ArenaBowl champion and two-time ArenaBowl Most Valuable Player, is the franchise leader in every major statistical category for quarterbacks and is likely sure-fire AFL Hall of Famer. The SaberCats will honor Mark's career at a yet to be determined home game during the 2013 season.
"Mark is one of the best players to ever play this game, hands down," said Owner/Head Coach Darren Arbet. "He is a three-time champion and will always be a SaberCat. We as an organization are so thankful for all that he has done for this franchise and we wish him and his family nothing but the best moving forward following his playing career."
Grieb (6-2, 200, UC Davis) spent 12 seasons with the SaberCats (13 in the AFL), completing 3,885 passes (second most in AFL history) for 47,901 yards (second most in league history) and 922 touchdowns (third most in AFL history). He has amassed the highest quarterback rating in league history (121.5) for players with a minimum of 100 games played. Grieb appeared in 179 games with San Jose (187 overall) and started every game for the SaberCats since 2003, a record-string of 132 consecutive games.
"First and foremost I want to say thank you to all of the fans that have come out to SaberCats games over the years and cheered us on with all of their enthusiasm and support," Grieb said regarding his 13-season AFL career. "Secondly, thanks to all of the guys who I played with that sacrificed so much to play this game and made it such a great experience for me. Thank you to our ownership group for running such a first class organization and believing in me and finally, last but not least, thanks to the coaches who really gave me an opportunity and I learned so much from them."
The San Jose native became the first player in AFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in seven straight seasons (2004-08, 2011-12) and is the second quarterback to toss 100-or-more touchdown passes in consecutive years (2007-08). Grieb is the only player in league history to ever throw for 70-plus scores in nine consecutive seasons (2002-08, 2011-12). He also became the fifth player in league history to amass 700 career touchdown passes and finished with 922 under his belt. Grieb set a franchise mark with 476 completions, and set his own record for attempts at 704 last season.
In terms of accolades, aside from the biggest prize, three ArenaBowl championships and a pair of ArenaBowl MVP awards (2004 and 2007), there are plenty that have been earned by Grieb over his illustrious career. He was voted the 18th Greatest Player in AFL History and Third Greatest Quarterback by the league's Silver Anniversary Committee in 2012, was named First Team All-Arena in both 2002 and 2005, Second Team All-Arena in 2004, Offensive Player of the Year in 2002, Offensive Player of the Month on four occasions, and Offensive Player of the Week on ten different occasions.
Apart from his legendary AFL career, which began in 1997 with the now defunct Anaheim Piranhas, Grieb also spent 1998 in NFL (National Football League) Europe with the Scottish Claymores and part of 2001 with the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL.
Grieb played three seasons at UC-Davis (1994-96); ending his career ranked in the top ten in six different offensive categories in school history. He was a Harlon Hill Award (Div. II MVP) finalist his senior year after throwing for a school record 3,320 yards and 25 touchdowns. Grieb was only the 26th football player at the time to have earned an NCAA Postgraduate scholarship.
A three sport star at San Jose's Oak Grove High School, Grieb also played both basketball and baseball. He was a biochemistry major at UC-Davis and earned a Master's degree in Education from Stanford University. During the SaberCats' hiatus from 2009-2011, Grieb earned teaching credential and taught high school biology in Southern California and is now teaching at Leyland High School in San Jose. He currently resides in the Bay Area with his wife Erin and their identical twin daughters, Ava and Madeline.

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