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Ohio State Heisman winner Howard ‘Hopalong’ Cassady dies at 85

After his playing career, Cassady spent 40 years working for the New York Yankees, primarily with the columbus Clippers.

Ohio State Athletics

On Friday, it was reported that the 1955 Heisman Trophy winner, Ohio State legend Howard “Hopalong” Cassady had died at the age of 85 years old. A two-time All-American, Cassady was OSU’s third Heisman winner, following Les Horvath and Vic Janowicz in 1944 and ‘50 respectively.

The university will honor Cassady during the Ohio State and Miami (OH) game on Saturday, Sept. 20.

Cassady had been living in Tampa, Fla. since 1974, and upon his passing, his son Craig Cassady said, “He was a Heisman Trophy dad as well.”

In a statement released by Ohio State, athletic director Gene Smith said, “We’ve lost not only a legendary Buckeye, but also a wonderful person in Hop Cassady. He was an all-time great Buckeye in every way. We will have the Cassady family in our thoughts and in our prayers.”

In his Heisman season, Hop rushed for 958 yards and 15 touchdowns which also earned him the Associated Press Athlete of the Year. During his time playing for the Buckeyes under legendary coach Woody Hayes, Cassady helped OSU to a 29-8 record from 1952-55, including the 1954 national championship. He finished his collegiate career with 2,466 rushing yards, which was the school record at the time, his total still ranks as 19th in school history 65 years later.

Ohio State retired Cassady’s #40 in 2000. For more on the legend’s career, including a gallery of wonderful photos, visit

A Columbus native who went to the now-closed Central High School, Cassady was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, and also played for Cleveland and Philadelphia. After his playing career was over, he transitioned into the administrative side of sports, but in baseball. The Heisman winner spent 40 years working for the New York Yankees, primarily with the Columbus Clippers, who were the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate for decades.

Our thoughts are with Cassady’s family and fans throughout Buckeye Nation and beyond. Godspeed, Hop.