Victor F. Janowicz

From Ohio History Central

Ohio Stadium.jpg
Postcard with an elevated view of the horseshoe shaped football stadium on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, ca. 1930-1950. The stadium is

depicted with a full crowd for a game.

Victor F. Janowicz was born on February 26, 1930, in Elyria, Ohio. He became one of the greatest football players in The Ohio State University's history.

As a freshman and sophomore at Ohio State during 1948 and 1949, Janowicz showed moments of brilliance on the football field, but an injury prevented him from truly excelling. In 1950, now fully recovered from the injury, Janowicz flourished. He played both offense and defense, including quarterback, running back, defensive back, safety, and kicker. In a single game against Iowa in 1950, Janowicz rushed for two touchdowns, threw for four more, and kicked ten extra points. The ten extra points in a single game remains a Big Ten record. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes 83-21. During this season, Janowicz accumulated 875 yards total offense and scored sixteen touchdowns. In the Michigan game, commonly referred to as the "Snow Bowl" because it was played in a blinding snowstorm, Janowicz punted twenty-one times for 685 yards. Because of these statistics and Janowicz's versatility on the football field, he received the Heisman trophy in 1950. He was only the third junior to win this coveted award.

Upon graduating from Ohio State, Janowicz served briefly in the military before playing professional baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played as either the team's catcher or third baseman and had a batting average of .214 his two season's in the league. In 1954, Janowicz left baseball to resume his football career. He played as both running back and kicker for the Washington Redskins in 1954 and 1955. He suffered a brain injury in automobile accident in 1956, bringing Janowicz's football career to an end.

Retired from sports, Janowicz eventually became Administrative Assistant to the Auditor of the State of Ohio. He died on February 27, 1996.

Many Buckeye fans consider Janowicz to have been the greatest athlete in OSU history. Besides the Heisman Trophy, Janowicz received numerous other honors for his athletic accomplishments. In 2000, Ohio State retired Janowicz's jersey number. Janowicz also was inducted into The Ohio State University Hall of Fame, the Elyria, Ohio Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, and the Polish-American Hall of Fame.

See Also