COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State University legend Howard “Hopalong” Cassady has died. He was 85.
Officials with the Ohio State University confirmed to NBC4’s Sports Director Jerod Smalley that Cassady died at his home in Tampa, Florida, Friday morning.
The Buckeyes will wear decals on their helmets in the game against Miami Saturday in honor of Cassady.
Cassady played for the Buckeyes and Coach Woody Hayes from 1952-55 and helped the team to a 29-8 record and to the 1954 national championship – the first of five national titles for Hayes – with a 10-0 record. He also helped Ohio State win outright Big Ten Conference championships in 1954 and 1955 and was a part of three victories over Michigan.
He finished his career with 2,466 rushing yards which, at the time, was an Ohio State record. The total still ranks 19th in school history. He scored 37 touchdowns in 36 games.
Cassady was the third of Ohio State’s seven Heisman Trophy winners, with Les Horvath (1944) and Vic Janowicz (1950) preceding him as recipients of the award that recognizes college football’s most outstanding player. Cassady rushed for 958 yards and 15 touchdowns in 1955 and was also the Associated Press Athlete of the Year and an All-American. He earned All-America honors in 1954 as well.
“He was a Heisman Trophy dad as well,” said son, Craig Cassady, Friday morning from his home in Chautauqua Lake, N.Y. Another son, David, lives in Dublin, Ohio, and daughter, Rayne, resides in Columbus.
Cassady came to Ohio State from Columbus Central High School and was a biological science major.
Cassady graduated and was drafted as a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions. He played eight years of professional football with Detroit, Cleveland and Philadelphia before retiring.
Cassady will be honored at Ohio Stadium Saturday during Ohio State’s game against Miami.