Aug. 2, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State Director of Athletics Andy Geiger announced today that Howard “Hopalong” Cassady and Vic Janowicz will become the second and third Ohio State football players to have their numbers officially retired. On Sept. 23, Janowicz’s No. 31 will be retired during the halftime ceremonies of the OSU vs. Penn State football game. On Nov. 18, Cassady’s No. 40 will be retired during the halftime ceremonies of the OSU vs. Michigan football game.
“We are honored and extremely proud to retire the numbers of two of the greatest college football players in Ohio State history,” Geiger said.
Vic Janowicz, touted as one of the best athletes in OSU history, received the 1950 Heisman Trophy after a stellar season in which he scored 16 touchdowns and accounted for 875 yards in total offense. In an 83-21 win over Iowa, he scored two touchdowns, passed for four more and set a Big Ten record by scoring 10 extra points. He was a true triple-threat.
But the most remarkable moment in Janowicz’s career at OSU was a 27-yard field goal against Michigan in the now infamous 1950 Snow Bowl. The kick, into a snowstorm with the goal post barely visible, stands as one of the greatest individual accomplishments in Ohio State athletics history. During that game he also set school records for punts (21) and punting yards (685).
| 1950 Heisman Trophy
He went on to play two years of professional baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates before returning to football in 1954 with the Washington Redskins. In 1955, he came close to winning the NFL scoring title, but lost the crown on the last day of the season.
Janowicz, a member of the Ohio State Hall of Fame and the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, died in February 1996.
The colorful Cassady was a four-year starter for the Buckeyes. He became a household name in Columbus as a freshman when he scored three second-half touchdowns against Indiana in the 1952 season opener to spark OSU to a 33-13 win. Ironically, the redheaded freshman did not even have a uniform until two days before his first game.
In 1954, he rushed for 701 yards and eight touchdowns and averaged 5.7 yards per carry earning him unanimous All-America accolades. He also caught 13 passes for 148 yards while helping Ohio State to a perfect 10-0 record and the Big Ten and national championships.
In 1955, Cassady again earned All-America honors after rushing for 964 yards and 15 touchdowns. At the end of the season, he was named Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press and became Ohio State’s third Heisman Trophy winner. Cassady finished his collegiate career 10th on the OSU rushing list with 2,466 rushing yards.
A first-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions, he played defensive back for Detroit, Cleveland and Philadelphia before retiring. He currently lives in Tampa, but returns to Columbus in the summers to serve as a coach for the Columbus Clippers.