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College Football Hall of Fame to Enshrine Chris Ward

Chris Ward
Photo via Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two-time All-American offensive tackle Chris Ward will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this year as a member of the 2024 class. The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Football Hall of Fame announced its 2024 class on Monday in Houston, site of the College Football Playoff national championship game.

Ward, who is originally from Cleveland, was a four-year letterman for Coach Woody Hayes’ teams in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1977 that won four consecutive Big Ten Conference championships or co-championships and played in two Rose Bowls, an Orange Bowl and a Sugar Bowl.

Ward is the 28th former Buckeye player to be enshrined into the NFF and College Football Hall of Fame, joining most recent honorees Michael Doss (2022), Keith Byars (2020) and Tom Cousineau (2016). Enshrinement ceremonies will take place in Las Vegas in December.

A 1989 inductee into the Ohio State Sports Hall of Fame, Ward played in 44 games for Ohio State and started 36 consecutive games, including during the 1975 season when Archie Griffin won the second of his two Heisman Trophies. The Buckeyes were 39-8-1 during Ward’s time in Columbus and 29-3 in the Big Ten Conference.

The Buckeyes were in the midst of six consecutive Big Ten championship seasons during Ward’s tenure. The team was also the No. 1 team in the nation for 14 weeks and Top 10 all but three weeks during his time as a player (45 total weeks). From 1974 through 1977 Ohio State finished No. 3, No. 4, No. 4 and No. 11, respectively, in the national rankings.

Ward was a first-team All-American in both 1976 and 1977. He earned consensus All-America honors in 1977 when the following organizations honored him: the Associated Press, United Press International, American Football Coaches of Association, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News and Football News.

He was a three-time first-team all-Big Ten Conference pick as well (1975, 1976 and 1977). Ron Springs was the Big Ten’s leading rusher in 1977 and the Buckeyes led the league in rushing.

The New York Jets drafted Ward with the fourth overall pick of the 1978 NFL Draft. He played in 100 NFL games in seven seasons between 1978-84. He played in 16 games during four seasons and played at least 13 games in six of his seven seasons in the league.

Following his retirement from professional football, Ward became involved in the ministry. He has a degree in bible studies from the Ministry Training Institute and both a master’s degree and his Ph.D in counseling and theology from the Ministry Training Institute. Ward went on to establish Ward International, a secular after school program that helps at-risk youth.

The 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class will officially be inducted during the 66th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10 at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The inductees will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Ohio State Players in the College Football Hall of Fame (28)

Year     Name, Pos. (Years at Ohio State)

2024     Chris Ward, OT (1974-77)

2022     Michael Doss, SAF (1999-02)

2020     Keith Byars, RB (1982-85)
2016     Tom Cousineau, LB (1975-78)

2014     Orlando Pace, LT (1994-96)

2012     Eddie George, RB (1992-95)

2009     Chris Spielman, LB (1984-87)

2007     Rex Kern, QB (1968-70)

2005     Jim Houston, E (1957-58)

2004     Jack Tatum, DB (1968-70)

2001     John Hicks, OT (1970, 72-73)

1998     Randy Gradishar, LB (1971-73)

1996     Bob Ferguson, FB (1959-61)

1991     Jim Stillwagon, DT (1968-70)

1989     Aurealius Thomas, G (1955-57)

1986     Archie Griffin, RB (1972-75)

1984     Warren Amling, G/T (1944-46)

1979     Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, RB (1952-55)

1978     Gomer Jones, C (1934-35)

1977     Jim Daniel, T (1939-41)

1976     Vic Janowicz, HB (1949-51)

1975     Gust Zarnas, G (1935-37)

1974     Jim Parker, G (1954-56)

1973     Gaylord Stinchcomb, HB (1917-20)

1971     Bill Willis, T (1942-44)

1969     Les Horvath, QB (1940-42, 44)

1954     Wes Fesler, E 1928-30)

1951     Chic Harley, HB (1916-17, 19)

 Ohio State Football Official Press Release

I attended Malone College to pursue a Journalism career in Politics...I have found that writing about Sports is a lot more fun! I am an avid NBA, MLB & NFL fan. Find me on Twitter @nats_sportschat

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