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Archie Mason Griffin (born August 21, 1954) is a former American football running back, and is college football's only two-time Heisman trophy winner. Griffin won four Big Ten Conference titles with the Ohio State Buckeyes and was the first player ever to start in four Rose Bowlsmarker.

High school career

Griffin rushed for 1,787 yards and scored 170 points in 11 games, including 29 touchdowns, as a senior fullback at Eastmoor High School in Columbus, Ohiomarker. That year he led Eastmoor to the Columbus City League championship, rushing for 267 yards on 31 carries in the title game against Linden-McKinley High Schoolmarker. In his junior year, Griffin had also rushed for over 1,000 yards.


  • In 1996 Griffin was inducted into the high school hall of fame.
  • Eastmoor Academy renamed their playing field "Archie Griffin Field" in his honor.

College career

Griffin played for the Ohio State Universitymarker Buckeyes from 1972-75. Among Ohio State Universitymarker college football fans, Griffin holds a status akin to a living folk hero. Former Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes said of Griffin, "He's a better young man than he is a football player, and he's the best football player I've ever seen."

In 1972 Griffin was a T-formation halfback, and from 1973 through 1975 he was the team's I-formation tailback. He led the Buckeyes in rushing as a freshman with 867 yards, but his numbers exploded the following year with the team's conversion to the I-formation. He rushed for 1,428 yards in the regular season as a sophomore, 1,620 as a junior, 1,357 as a senior. Griffin is the only back to lead the Big Ten Conference in rushing for three straight years. Overall, Griffin rushed for 5,589 yards on 924 carries in his four seasons with the Buckeyes (1972-1975), then an NCAA record. He had 6,559 all-purpose yards and scored 26 touchdowns. In their four seasons with Griffin as their starting running back, the Buckeyes posted a record of 40-5-1. Griffin is one of only two players in collegiate football history to start four Rose Bowl gamesmarker, the other being Brian Cushing.

Griffin introduced himself to Ohio Statemarker fans in his second game as a freshman by setting a school single-game rushing record of 239 yards in the second game of the 1972 season, against North Carolina, breaking a team record that had stood for 27 seasons. Coincidentally, his only carry in his first game had resulted in a fumble. He broke his own record as a sophomore with 246 rushing yards in a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Over his four-year collegiate career, Griffin rushed for at least 100 yards in 34 games, including an NCAA record 31 consecutive games.

Career rushing statistics

Year Att Yds Avg
1972 159 867 5.5
1973 247 1,577 6.4
1974 256 1,695 6.6
1975 262 1,450 5.5


Griffin finished fifth in the Heisman vote in his sophomore year and won the award as a junior and senior. In addition to his two Heisman Trophies, Griffin won many other College Awards. He is one of two players to win The Big 10 Most Valuable Player Award twice (1973-1974). United Press International named him Player of the Year twice (1974-1975), the Walter Camp Foundation named him top player twice (1974-1975), he won the Maxwell Award (1975), and Sporting News named him Man of the Year (1975). Griffin is also one of two players in NCAA history to start in four Rose Bowl games in a single career.

The College Football Hall of Famemarker enshrined Griffin in 1986. Ohio State enshrined him their own Varsity O Hall of Fame in 1981 and officially retired his number, #45, in 1999. He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1990. In 2007, he was ranked #21 on ESPN's Top 25 Players In College Football History list.

Professional football career

In the 1976 NFL Draft, he was the first-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals, selected as the 24th overall pick in the draft. He played 7 seasons in the NFL, all with the Bengals (1976-1982). He was joined in the backfield with his college fullback teammate Pete Johnson, who was drafted by the Bengals in 1977. During his 7 NFL seasons, he rushed for 2808 yards and 7 touchdowns, and caught 192 passes for 1607 yards and 6 touchdowns. Griffin played in Super Bowl XVI with the Bengals after the 1981 season.

After his career with the Bengals ended, Griffin played briefly with the Jacksonville Bulls of the United States Football League.

Career after football

Griffin returned to Ohio State University to receive a MBA. Griffin is currently the President and CEO of Ohio State University Alumni Association. He is also the current spokesman for the Wendy's High School Heisman award program. Formerly, he served as Assistant Athletic Director for Ohio State University and still speaks to the football team before every game. Griffin is a favorite interview for broadcasters during slow moments in football coverage due to his generosity with his time and his humble and friendly demeanor.

Griffin is one of two Ohio State Heisman winners to be on a losing Super Bowl team. The second is Eddie George. George and the Titans lost to the Rams in the 2000 Super Bowl.

Griffin also serves on the Board of Directors for Motorists Insurance which has offices in downtown Columbus.


Archie is a son to Margret and James Griffin. He has six brothers and a sister. His brothers' names are Jimmy, Larry, Daryle, Raymond, Duncan, and Keith. And his sister's name is Krystal.Archie is married to Bonita and has three sons, Anthony, Adam and Andre.

Andre is currently a football coach at Saginaw Valley State University as an assistant football coach. He is entering his first year in the position.


  1. Griffin singing praise for Buckeyes' Tressel and Andrew Revello

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