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November 29
Griffin wins first Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award

News from the Big Ten Conference and Ohio State's department of athletics:

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Big Ten Conference announced two more award winners today in the areas of humanitarianism and leadership and Ohio State’s Archie Griffin is the first recipient of the Ford-Kinnick Leadership award. Indiana’s George Taliaferro was honored with the Big Ten’s Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award.


Griffin, the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, has been president and CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association since 2004, and he also serves as a member of university President E.Gordon Gee’s senior leadership team as Ohio State’s Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations. In 2006 Griffin was listed as one of the NCAA’s “100 Most Influential Student-Athletes” and was appointed to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Board of Directors.


Griffin’s leadership activities include:

  • Creating the Archie Griffin Scholarship Fund, which benefits Ohio State’s Olympic sports programs.
  • Along with his wife, Bonita, forming the Archie and Bonita Griffin Foundation Fund which helps develop sports, educational and travel programs for youth in Central Ohio.
  • Serving as spokesman for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Program and as a member of several charitable organizations, including the Columbus Foundation, Columbus Youth Foundation and Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation.
  • Involvement with the ADA’s Advocacy Leadership Council advisory board and serving as the honorary chair of the Diversity Enhancement Program for the James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute.


A three-time All-American and All-Big Ten selection, Griffin was the recipient in 2007 of the Duffy Daugherty Award, given to individuals for lifetime achievement and contribution to collegiate football.


“I am humbled and honored to win the inaugural Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award,” Griffin said. “Ohio State and the Big Ten Conference both played a pivotal role in developing my leadership capabilities. The lessons I learned as a student-athlete in our conference have resonated throughout my life and prepared me for every leadership challenge I’ve encountered.”


The Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian and Ford-Kinnick Leadership awards are part of the Big Ten’s enhanced awards program that debuts this season. The Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award is named for Minnesota’s Tony Dungy and Indiana’s Anthony Thompson. The Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award is named for Michigan’s Gerald Ford and Iowa’s Nile Kinnick. For more information on these awards, including biographical information on the namesakes, visit www.bigten.org.



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