Gerry Ellis
No. 31
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1957-11-12) November 12, 1957 (age 64)
Columbia, Missouri
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:221 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Hickman
(Columbia, Missouri)
NFL Draft:1980 / Round: 7 / Pick: 192
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:3,826

Gerry Ellis (born November 12, 1957) is a former professional American football player who played running back for seven seasons for the Green Bay Packers. He played college football at Missouri and was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1980 NFL Draft.[1] He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1994.[2]

College career

After playing high school football at Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri,[3] Ellis spent his first year post-high school at Fort Scott Junior College.[4] He later played at Missouri, where he started at fullback but was injured midway through his senior year. He returned in time for the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl against South Carolina, where he scored a touchdown.[5]

Professional career

Ellis was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round 1980 NFL Draft,[6] but was cut by the team in his first preseason and was claimed by the Green Bay Packers in free agency during the opening stages of the 1980 season.[7] After rising to starting fullback in the middle of September 1980, Ellis scored his first career NFL touchdown against the Rams.[8] He set Packers single-season team records for total offense by a running back and receiving yards by a running back in 1981,[7] accumulating more than a quarter of Green Bay's total offensive yards.[9] On September 31, 1983, Ellis caught a lateral from James Lofton as time expired against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, scoring a touchdown and sending the game into overtime. The Packers later won the game.[10] After playing at fullback from 1980 to 1983, Ellis moved to running back before 1984.[6] He led the Packers in rushing in both 1983 and 1984,[11] and returned kicks for the Packers in 1985.[12]

Before the 1987 season, Ellis was volunteering at a football camp for underserved youth and tore his Achilles tendon while working out, never to step on an NFL field again.[13]

Ellis was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1994.[14]

Personal life

Ellis grew up in Columbia, Missouri with eight siblings, where he competed in track and field and set Central Missouri Conference records in discus and shot put.[15] While attending college at the University of Missouri, Ellis majored in education.[8] He invested in real estate as a side job during his football career.[4]


  1. ^ "Gerry Ellis". Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  2. ^ "Packers Hall of Fame RB Gerry Ellis to join Pack Attack Monday". WAOW. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  3. ^ Baer, Rus (May 11, 2014). "Millard could be first NFL player from Columbia in 21 years". Columbia Tribune. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Raboin, Sharon (September 7, 1986). "Playing pro football fulfills Gerry Ellis' childhood dream". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  5. ^ Connelly, Bill (April 30, 2010). "1979: A Fleeting Taste of the Big-Time (Part Three)". Rock M Nation. SB Nation. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Watson, Phil. "Best of the Packers: Top 10 running backs since 1960". Dairyland Express. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Is Bob Schnelker serious about Gerry Ellis, or is..." UPI. January 14, 1983. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Kaiser, Jacqueline (October 3, 1980). "Packers' Gerry Ellis breaks into backfield". La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  9. ^ Rooney, John (March 15, 1982). "Ellis seeks improvement as a Green Bay runner". Manitowoc Herald-Times. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  10. ^ Troup, T.J. (2009). This Day in Football: A Day-By-Day Record of the Events That Shaped the Game. Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-58979-452-8. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  11. ^ Goska, Eric (August 17, 1994). "What's in a number?". Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  12. ^ Christl, Cliff (October 14, 1985). "Ellis gave Packers lift with return". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  13. ^ "Packers' Ellis may not play again". The Daily Tribune. June 7, 1987. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  14. ^ "Packer Hall of Fame welcomes three". Green Bay Press-Gazette. March 12, 1994. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  15. ^ Anders, Mike (May 2, 1975). "Kewpies capture CMC track title, Jays 2nd". Jefferson City Post-Tribune. Retrieved February 19, 2020.