Zeke Bratkowski, former UGA All-American quarterback, dead at 88
SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. - Zeke Bratkowski, a former University of Georgia All-American quarterback and backup quarterback to Green Bay Packer's legend Bart Starr, has died at his home in Florida Monday. He was 88 years old.
Zeke Bratkowski poses for a photo at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. (University of Georgia/Collegiate Images via Getty Images)
Bratkowski, aka "The Brat," was born on Oct. 20, 1931 in Danville Illinois. Starting in his sophomore season, he spent three years playing for the Bulldogs under head coach Wally Butts. In that time he earned All-American honors as the team's quarterback, becoming the nation's leading passer in '52 and '53, UGA officials said.
With the Bulldogs, Bratkowski set numerous school passing records, finishing his career with 4,836 passing yards.
After college, he was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 1954 NFL draft. He spent 14 years in the NFL with the Bears, Los Angeles Ram, and, most importantly, the Green Bay Packers. With the Packers, he was known as the "Super Sub" backup of starter Bart Starr, helping the team win three consecutive World Championships, including Super Bowls in 1996 and 1997.
Bratkowski stayed on the field even after his quarterback career He went on to work as an offensive coordinator and assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Colts, Indianapolis Colts, NY Jets, Cleveland Browns, and Philadelphia Eagles.
Bratkowski was inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, and the Polish American Hall of Fame. He was also inducted in the University of Georgia Circle of Honor.
In recent years, Bratkowki moved to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, where UGA officials say he worked to help with hurricane relief efforts.