Touchdown Club of Columbus

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Logo of the Touchdown Club of Columbus

The Touchdown Club of Columbus was founded in Columbus, Ohio, in 1956 by Sam B. Nicola at the request of state auditor James A. Rhodes, who later became governor of the state.[1] Nicola served as the club's president until his death in 1993. More than a decade later, his son Sam Nicola Jr. took over the Touchdown Club.[1] On January 22, 2020 the President of the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Curt Boster, announced on the club's Facebook page the cancellation of the awards citing difficulty of maintaining the event without a title sponsor.


The Touchdown Club of Columbus gives several awards to recognize outstanding athletes.[2]

Sammy Baugh Trophy[edit]

The Sammy Baugh Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's top collegiate passer.

Jim Brown Award[edit]

This honor goes to the NCAA's top running back, recently named for Hall of Famer Jim Brown.

Paul Warfield Trophy[edit]

Named for Paul Warfield, this honor is given to the nation's top collegiate wide receiver.

Jim Parker Trophy[edit]

Given yearly to the top collegiate offensive lineman. Named for Ohio State great and Hall of Famer Jim Parker.

Bill Willis Trophy[edit]

Named for Bill Willis, this award is given yearly to the top collegiate defensive lineman.

Jack Lambert Trophy[edit]

Named for Jack Lambert, this award is given yearly to the top collegiate linebacker.

Jack Tatum Trophy[edit]

Since 1991, the Jack Tatum Trophy is given yearly to the top collegiate defensive back. Named after the legendary Jack Tatum

Archie Griffin Award[edit]

The Archie Griffin Award signifies college football's most valuable player for the entire season.[3][4] It is named in honor of the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, Archie Griffin of Ohio State.

Chic Harley Award[edit]

Named for Chic Harley, this award is presented to the College Football Player of the Year.

Kellen Moore Award[edit]

Previously called the Quarterback of the Year Award, this accolade differs from Sammy Baugh Trophy in that it goes to top quarterback, rather than the top passer. Its name was changed to its current identity in 2012, honoring two-time winner Kellen Moore, who became the FBS all-time leader in wins by a quarterback after going 50–3 as the starter at Boise State.

Ozzie Newsome Award[edit]

Named for Ozzie Newsome, this award is presented annually to the top collegiate tight end.

Woody Hayes Trophy[edit]

Named for Woody Hayes, this award recognizes the top collegiate coach.

Freshman of the Year[edit]

Given yearly to the top college football newcomer.

Vlade Award[edit]

Named in honor of Vlade Janakievski, one of the most accurate placekickers in Ohio State football history, this award is given yearly to the most accurate college football kicker.

Paul Brown Trophy[edit]

Named for Paul Brown, this trophy is presented annually to the NFL Coach of the Year.

Joe F. Carr Trophy[edit]

Named for Joseph Carr, this trophy was presented annually (from 1955–1978) to the NFL Player of the Year. This award is not to be confused with the original Joe F. Carr Trophy which was the official National Football League MVP award from 1938–46. However, both trophies are named after Carr, a former NFL commissioner.

Sam B. Nicola Trophy[edit]

Named for the Club's founder, this trophy is presented annually to the National High School Player of the Year.

James A. Rhodes Trophy[edit]

The James A. Rhodes Trophy is awarded annually to the Ohio High School player of the year. It is named for former Governor of Ohio James A. Rhodes, who was state auditor when he made the suggestion that led to the founding of the Touchdown Club of Columbus.

  • 1969 Steve Mauger, Massillon
  • 1970 Ted McNulty, Upper Arlington
  • 1971 Rick Middleton, Delaware Hayes
  • 1972 Archie Griffin, Eastmoor
  • 1973 Mike Gayles, Cincinnati Princeton
  • 1974 Ted Bell, Youngstown Mooney
  • 1975 John Ziepler, Warren Harding
  • 1976 Joe Portale, St Edward
  • 1977 Tim Koegel, Cincinnati Moeller
  • 1978 Art Schlichter, Miami Trace
  • 1979 Ken Roundtree, Cincinnati Moeller
  • 1980 Eric Ellington, Cincinnati Moeller
  • 1981 Mark Brooks, Cincinnati Moeller
  • 1982 Tony Grant, Fremont Ross
  • 1983 Hiawatha Francisco, Cincinnati Moeller
  • 1984 Chris Spielman, Massillon
  • 1985 Mark Kamphous, Cincinnati Moeller
  • 1986 Jeff Davidson, Westerville North
  • 1987 Carlos Snow, Cincinnati Academy
  • 1988 Ronald Howe, Zanesville
  • 1989 Roger Harper, Columbus Independence
  • 1990 Robert Smith, Euclid
  • 1991 Korey Stringer, Warren Harding
  • 1992 Mike Vrabel, Walsh Jesuit
  • 1993 Dee Miller, Springfield
  • 1994 Charles Woodson, Fremont Ross
  • 1995 Andy Katzenmoyer, Westerville South
  • 1996 Derek Combs, Grove City
  • 1997 Tony Fisher, Euclid
  • 1998 Mike Doss, Canton McKinley
  • 1999 Brandon Childress, Cleveland Chanel
  • 2000 Jeff Backes, Upper Arlington
  • 2000 Maurice Hall, Columbus Brookhaven
  • 2001 Justin Zwick, Massillon Washington
  • 2001 Maurice Clarett, Warren Harding
  • 2002 Donte Whitner, Cleveland Glenville
  • 2003 Ted Ginn Jr., Cleveland Glenville
  • 2004 Jamario O'Neal, Cleveland Glenville
  • 2005 Chris Wells, Akron Garfield
  • 2006 Brandon Saine, Piqua
  • 2007 Jake Stoneburner, Dublin Coffman
  • 2008 Zach Boren, Pickerington Central
  • 2009 Braxton Miller, Huber Heights Wayne
  • 2010 Braxton Miller, Huber Heights Wayne
  • 2011 Maty Mauk, Kenton
  • 2012 Mitch Trubisky, Mentor
  • 2013 Grant Sherman, Kenton
  • 2014 Joe Burrow, Athens
  • 2015
  • 2016 Daniel Bangura, Harvest Prep
  • 2017 Isaiah Bowser, Sidney
  • 2018 – Mark Waid, Girard

Male Athlete of the Year[edit]

Female Athlete of the Year[edit]

President's Award[edit]

  • 2011 Jordan White, Western Michigan University
  • 2011 Ross Franklin, Johnstown High School
  • 2012 Zac Dysert, Miami University
  • 2013 Ryan Switzer, North Carolina
  • 2013 Cartel Brooks, Heidelberg College
  • 2014 Cardale Jones, Ohio State University
  • 2015 Kody Kasey, Georgetown College
  • 2016 Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
  • 2018 Jeff Monken, Army West Point

TDC Lifetime Achievement Award[edit]

The Touchdown Club also gives the annual TDC Lifetime Achievement Award to a selected athlete.

  • 1991 – Olga Korbut, Olympic Gymnastics
  • 1992 – Nadia Comăneci, Olympic Gymnastics
  • 1993 – Evander Holyfield, Boxing
  • 1994 – Jerry Lucas, Basketball Hall of Fame
  • 1995 – Sparky Anderson, Baseball Hall of Fame
  • 1996 – Bobby Hull, Hockey Hall of Fame
  • 1997 – Jim Brown, Football Hall of Fame
  • 1998 – George Steinbrenner, New York Yankees
  • 1999
  • 2000 – Lamar Hunt, American Football League
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003 – Hopalong Cassady, College Football Hall of Fame
  • 2004 – Joe Nuxhall, Baseball
  • 2005
  • 2006 – John Havlicek, Basketball Hall of Fame
  • 2006 – Bevo Francis, Basketball
  • 2007
  • 2008 – Chuck Ealey, Football
  • 2009 – Archie Griffin, College Football Hall of Fame
  • 2010 – Coach Chris Ault, College Football Hall of Fame
  • 2011 – Coach Chuck Kyle, Football
  • 2012 – Coach Tom Osborne, College Football Hall of Fame
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015 – Coach Don Donoher, Football
  • 2016 – Peter Hanson, Ohio State volleyball
  • 2017 – Larry Kehres, Mount Union football
  • 2018 – Katie Smith, Naismith and Women's Basketball Halls of Fame

FCS Player of the Year[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Touchdown Club of Columbus". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Past Honoreess :: Touchdown Club of Columbus". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  3. ^ Chris, Trevino (January 4, 2017). "Darnold wins Archie Griffin Award". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  4. ^ Scrivens, Sarah (January 4, 2017). "USC QB Sam Darnold wins 2016 Archie Griffin Award". ESPN. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  5. ^ "Cassady to Receive Harley Award Tonight". The Coshocton Democrat. United Press. January 20, 1956. p. 12. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  6. ^ Howell, Fritz (January 15, 1965). "Columbus TD Club To Honor Sports Figures". The Daily Reporter. Associated Press. p. 11. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Greiner, John (May 3, 1979). "Sims, Sooners Suit Up For Big Senate Shindig". The Daily Oklahoman. p. 5. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  8. ^ Fravel, Cory (December 5, 2016). "Watson to Receive Chic Harley National Player of the Year". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 15, 2017.

External links[edit]