READ Michael Arace’s story on Joe Roberts in the Columbus Dispatch
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Former Ohio State captain and 1960 national championship Joe Roberts passed away at his home this week after a battle with cancer. He was 86.
The Columbus, Ohio native was a three-year letterwinner and starter for head coach Fred Taylor from 1958-60, averaging 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds over 72 career games. Roberts was the starting forward on Ohio State’s national championship team in 1960. He scored 19 points in the region final and added 10 points in the win over Cal-Berkeley in the championship game.
Roberts and Dick Furry were co-captains of the 1959-60 team that went 25-3 and in addition to winning the national title, won the Big Ten title with a record of 13-1. He led a team that included greats like Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek and Bobby Knight.
Roberts earned his bachelor’s degree in biological studies and physical education from Ohio State in 1960 and later then went on to get three separate master’s degrees from Western Michigan and Cal State-East Bay. He was drafted in the third round of the 1960 NBA Draft by the Syracuse Nationals (now Philadelphia 76ers) and would play parts of four seasons in the NBA and ABA.
He and his wife Celia were married for 65 years. Roberts is also survived by his three daughters — Lori Casey, Kimberly Roberts and Jodi Jones – as well as a grandson, and a great granddaughter.