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When There's A Will, There's A Way: Grier Talks Fatherhood, Football


Will Grier throwing a football

Written by Jake Stump
Photographed by Dale Sparks

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When Will Grier took a pass at entering the 2018 NFL Draft, the gold-and-blue nation rejoiced. For one more season, “Touchdown Jesus” will guide the WVU football team as its star quarterback, though we’ll have to stick him with a new nickname since he hacked off his long dark locks. Analysts foresee Grier as a Heisman contender this year and predict he’ll be a top five pick in the 2019 draft. But first, let’s savor his swan song as a Mountaineer and take a look behind the bearded husband, father, sociology-studying Zen master and resident “old man on the team.”

What led you back to WVU?

It wasn’t one or two things. It was a group of things. WVU is a great place, and it’s been nothing but an awesome experience for me and my family.

You have an 18-month-old daughter Eloise (Elle). What were her first words?

Dada ... her favorite.

Grier baby

Was she horrified when you cut your hair?

She still recognized me. But if I shaved my beard, she would be like [makes suspicious face]. She used to pull on it, too. Now she just pulls Jeanne’s [his wife’s] hair.

Would you rather change a diaper blowout or get yelled at by Coach Holgorsen?

Get yelled at by Holgorsen. I usually don’t jump on that [changing diapers].

Favorite family hangout spots?

Elle likes to run around. We take her to the park. She doesn’t like the swing too much. She just likes to run around a lot. And walking up steps. I had her here [the Milan Puskar Center] the other day and we walked laps up and down the stairs.

Grier family

Do you ever have “you time?”

If I need to, I’ll go upstairs and meditate for 30 minutes.

Any advice for new dads?


Any advice for new dads who are starting quarterbacks and college students?

Make sure your time management is good and you know what’s  important to you. Know who you are and where you want to be. 

Who has the better hair, you or Coach Holgorsen?

I love Coach Holgs’ hair. Nobody else has that.

Your dream job that’s not football-related?

With my experience, it would translate well into owning a business or managing people. I know how to lead a team and work toward a goal.  

What do you love about WVU?

I love the passion this place has for football. The pride they have for the state. It’s a really special place. There are no pro teams, so everyone cares about the University and our sports. It’s a lot of pride and passion.

Grier leaving field