Unitas family legacy arrives at Flagler

Granddaughter of legendary NFL quarterback lives up to family name

By Kathy Novak | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Jillian Unitas is used to the word legacy — not because of the gift shop at Flagler College, but the one in her family. Unitas’ grandfather, Johnny Unitas, was one of the NFL’s MVPs three separate years, and an incredible influence — on the field and in the younger Unitas’ life.

“He influenced me by example — personality, the way he handled things. He was very laid back, never sweat the small stuff,” said Unitas.

Her grandfather still holds several records to this day including his most impressive, throwing touchdown passes in 47 consecutive games.

Sports have always been a huge part of her life as well as the rest of the Unitas family.

Unitas, a Baltimore native, started out with basketball, staying with that for 13 years, then turned to volleyball in ninth grade where she was recruited by the coach who was a good friend of hers. “I just kinda’ fell out of love with basketball,” she said.

Having been involved with sports as long as she has, Unitas feels as though they, “give kids a goal — set a standard — they can always work harder to strive for something.”

On a personal level, Unitas says she has, “…gained discipline. It has helped with my time management, especially while in school.”

Unitas is excited about her time here at Flagler and the time to come with volleyball.

And who knows, maybe she will bring a legacy of her own to the team and to Flagler College.

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