Leslie Horvath (October 12, 1921 – November 14, 1995) was an American football quarterback and halfback who won the Heisman Trophy while playing for Ohio State University in 1944. Horvath was the first Ohio State player to win the Heisman, an award given to the best college football player in the United States. The school retired his jersey number 22 in 2001.
Horvath grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio and became a standout high school athlete despite his small stature. He entered Ohio State in 1939 on a work scholarship, but tried out for and made the football team the following year. He played as a reserve halfback on a 1942 team coached by Paul Brown that won Ohio State's first-ever national championship. Horvath graduated that year and moved to Ohio State's dental school. In 1944, however, acting Ohio State football coach Carroll Widdoes asked Horvath to rejoin the team, taking advantage of a World War II-era rule allowing graduate students with remaining eligibility to play. Horvath agreed, and helped lead the Buckeyes to a 9–0 record and a second-place showing in the AP Poll. He won the Heisman and was named an All-American after the season.
Horvath graduated from dental school in 1945 and served as a dental officer in the U.S. Navy for two years. Following his discharge, he played professionally for the Los Angeles Rams in 1947 and 1948 before being released and signing with the Cleveland Browns in 1949. The Browns won the All-America Football Conference championship that year. Horvath retired from playing in 1950 and moved to Los Angeles to practice dentistry. He lived there for the rest of his life. Horvath was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966 and the Ohio State athletics hall of fame in 1977.
Horvath, c. 1944
|No. 53, 22|
|Born:||October 12, 1921|
South Bend, Indiana
|Died:||November 14, 1995 (aged 74)|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||173 lb (78 kg)|
|High school:||Cleveland (OH) Rhodes|
|NFL Draft:||1943 / Round: 6 / Pick: 45|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Horvath was born to Croatian immigrants in South Bend, Indiana in 1921; his family soon moved to Parma, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Parma Senior High School starting in 1936 and played on the track, basketball and football teams until the 11th grade. He decided to switch schools because he felt his basketball teammates were not taking the sport seriously. Horvath's family relocated, and in 1938 he enrolled at James Ford Rhodes High School in Cleveland, one of Parma's rivals. Playing as a quarterback for the Rhodes Rams, Horvath guided the team to seven straight wins in 1938, but the team lost to West Technical High School for a chance to be the Cleveland Senate League]]'s Western Conference representative in the city championship. He graduated in 1939.
After graduating, Horvath attended Ohio State University on a work scholarship, but managed to make the school's football team in 1940. Horvath was small for a football player – he weighed just 160 pounds – but was a quick runner and had a strong arm. Ohio State's football team was a disappointment in 1940, however, finishing the season with a 4–4 win–loss record under head coach Francis Schmidt. Schmidt was fired after the season and replaced by Paul Brown, an Ohio high school coach who had guided Massillon Washington to a series of undefeated records and state championships. Brown simplified Ohio State's offense, but imposed a level of discipline and organization that had been absent under Schmidt. Horvath was a reserve halfback in the Buckeyes' single-wing offense in 1941, when the team posted a 6–1–1 win–loss–tie record and finished second in the Big Ten Conference standings. He played in many games, but senior fullback Jack Graf and senior halfback Tom Kinkade got most of the carries for Ohio State.
Despite his small frame, Brown recognized Horvath's potential as a senior in 1942 and made him a regular starter at halfback beside Paul Sarringhaus and fullback Gene Fekete. While Sarringhaus and Fekete were Ohio State's main offensive weapons, Horvath averaged eight yards per carry in a victory over Pittsburgh and scored two touchdowns and passed for 109 yards in a win over Illinois in Cleveland. Ohio State was ranked first in the country in the AP Poll early in the season, but fell in the rankings after a loss to Wisconsin in October. The team won the rest of its games, however, including a 21–7 victory over arch-rival Michigan at the end of the season. Horvath passed to Sarringhaus for a 35-yard touchdown and caught another 32-yard touchdown pass from Sarringhaus in the Michigan game. Ohio State's 9–1 record put it on top of the Big Ten standings and in the final AP Poll, giving the school its first-ever national championship.
Horvath expected his college football career to be over in 1942. He finished his undergraduate degree that year and enrolled in a graduate program at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Ohio State's football program, meanwhile, struggled in 1943 after Brown and many of its best players entered the military during World War II. Carroll Widdoes, an assistant under Brown, was appointed the acting head coach and led the team to a 3–6 record.
The following year, Widdoes asked Horvath to return to the team, taking advantage of a wartime rule that allowed college programs to use graduate students if they had not exhausted their four years of college eligibility. Widdoes promised Horvath a leading role as the team's left halfback, a level of prominence he had been denied under Brown. Horvath agreed to come back and be a veteran leader for a team that was composed mostly of freshmen because of older players' service in the war. Horvath had a breakout season in 1944, gaining 669 rushing yards and 1,200 all-purpose yards as the Buckeyes turned in a 9–0 record and finished second in the national polls. The highlights of Horvath's season included scoring the winning touchdown in Ohio State's annual matchup against Michigan. Calling all of Ohio State's offensive plays, he was nicknamed the "playing coach".
Horvath was named a first-team All-American by sportswriters and the Most Valuable Player in the Big Ten after the season. He was voted by his teammates as Ohio State's Most Valuable Player. He also won the Heisman Trophy, an award given each year to the best college football player in the country. Horvath was the first Ohio State player to win the Heisman, and he remains the only Heisman winner not to have played football the previous season. In early 1945, Horvath played in the annual East–West Shrine Game, a college all-star game. While at Ohio State, he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
After graduating from Ohio State's dental school in 1945, Horvath signed to play for the Cleveland Rams of the National Football League. Horvath, however, applied for a commission to join the U.S. Navy and was sworn in as a lieutenant j.g. that August. He was sent at first to Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois for training, where he practiced dentistry and acted as an assistant to Brown, who had entered the Navy and was coaching the base's football team. Horvath served in Hawaii and coached a football team there that won a service national championship. He later traveled on assignment as far as China as a naval dental officer.
Before his discharge from the Navy in 1947, there was speculation that Horvath might join the Cleveland Browns, a new team coached by Brown in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). Horvath was still under contract with the Rams, however, and joined the team, which by then had moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles. Led by quarterback Bob Waterfield, Los Angeles finished the season with a 6–6 record in 1947. Horvath rushed for 68 yards and had three receptions. Horvath had 118 yards of rushing the next season, when the Rams finished with a 6–5–1 record and took third place in the NFL West division.
Horvath, who worked as a dentist in the offseason in Los Angeles, was released by the Rams in 1949. He signed with the Browns a week later, closing his dental office and moving to Cleveland to reunite with Brown. Horvath, who was used primarily on defense early in the season, had an 84-yard fumble return for a touchdown in a game against the New York Yankees, and ran for two touchdowns in a November game against the Chicago Hornets. Cleveland finished the season with a 9–1–2 record and won a fourth straight AAFC championship. The AAFC disbanded after the season and the Browns were absorbed by the NFL, but Horvath decided to quit football to practice dentistry back in California.
Horvath married Shirley Phillips, an airline hostess after the 1949 season, and moved back to Los Angeles. He coached little league football and practiced dentistry in Glendale, California, a major Los Angeles suburb, for the rest of his life. His wife died in 1973, he remarried two years later to Ruby Aylor, whom he met in Hawaii while on vacation in 1974. They were married for 20 years, until Horvath's death in 1995 of heart failure.
Horvath was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966 and became a member of Ohio State's athletics hall of fame in 1977. Ohio State retired his number 22 uniform in 2001, six years after his death. He was inducted into the Parma Senior High School athletics hall of fame in 2007.
... James Ford Rhodes Rams galloped to their seventh straight triumph of the season yesterday afternoon
Horvath, a naval dental officer, is now en route to China on assignment ...
In uniform for the first time today was Les Horvath, former Cleveland James Ford Rhodes High and Ohio State university star, who got his release by the Los Angeles Rams of the National League late last week, closed up his California dental office and flew here for another fling with his old college coach.
Les Horvath, the former James Ford Rhodes and Ohio State All-American, has decided to quit pro football and will devote all his time to the practice of dentistry in Los Angeles.
The 1942 Big Ten Conference football season was the 47th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1942 college football season.
The 1942 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, led by head coach Paul Brown, compiled a 9–1, led the Big Ten in scoring offense (33.7 points per game), won the conference championship, and was ranked No. 1 in the final AP Poll. The Buckeyes' only loss was by a 17–7 score against Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium. Tackle Charles Csuri received the team's most valuable player award. Halfback Les Horvath went on to win the 1943 Heisman Trophy.
Wisconsin, under head coach Harry Stuhldreher, compiled an 8–1–1 record, led the conference in scoring defense (6.8 points per game allowed), and was ranked No. 3 in the final AP Poll. The Badgers played Notre Dame to a 7–7 and suffered its sole loss on the road against Iowa. End Dave Schreiner was a consensus first-team All-American and received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the conference.
Michigan, under head coach Fritz Crisler, compiled a 7–3 record and was ranked No. 9 in the final AP Poll. Two Michigan linemen, tackle Al Wistert and guard Julius Franks (Michigan's first African-American All-American), were selected as consensus first-team All-Americans.1942 Ohio State Buckeyes football team
The 1942 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented Ohio State University in the 1942 Big Ten Conference football season. The team was led by wingback Les Horvath and quarterback and team captain George Lynn. They were coached by Paul Brown. The Buckeyes were awarded the national championship by the Associated Press, the first claimed and generally recognized national title in program history. The 1933 Ohio State team had been awarded a national championship via the Dunkel System, with Michigan, Princeton, and USC also receiving titles from different ranking systems.
The Buckeyes only loss was to the Wisconsin Badgers in what many now refer to as the "Bad Water Game", where half of the Buckeye players contracted an intestinal disorder after drinking from an unsanitary drinking fountain on the train to Madison. The Buckeyes were defeated by the Badgers who were led by Elroy Hirsch. However, the Badgers had a loss and a tie giving Ohio State the Big Ten championship.
Horvath then led the Buckeyes to three scores through the air to upset Michigan and win their first league championship in three years and their sixth in 30 years since joining the Big Ten Conference in 1913. The Buckeyes outscored their opponents on the season by an average score of 34–11 by scoring a total 337 and allowing 114.1943 NFL Draft
The 1943 National Football League Draft was held on April 8, 1943, at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. This draft is the first NFL draft not to produce a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.1944 All-Big Nine Conference football team
The 1944 All-Big Nine Conference football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Big Nine Conference teams selected by the Associated Press (AP) and United Press (UP) for the 1944 Big Ten Conference football season.1944 Big Ten Conference football season
The 1944 Big Ten Conference football season was the 49th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1944 college football season.
The 1944 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Carroll Widdoes, compiled a perfect 9–0 record, won the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring offense (31.9 points per game), and was ranked No. 2 in the final AP Poll. The team was retroactively selected as a national champion by the National Championship Foundation. Quarterback Les Horvath was a consensus first-team pick for the 1944 College Football All-America Team and received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the Big Ten and . End Jack Dugger and center John Tavener were also consensus first-team All-Americans.
Michigan, under head coach Fritz Crisler, compiled an 8–2 record, finished in second place in the conference, and was ranked No. 8 in the final AP Poll. Fullback Don Lund received the team's most valuable player award.
Indiana, under head coach Bo McMillin, compiled a 7–3 record and led the conference in scoring defense (7.9 points per game). Center John Tavener was a consensus first-team All-American and received Indiana's most valuable player award.1944 College Football All-America Team
The 1944 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1944. The nine selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1944 season are (1) Collier's Weekly, as selected by Grantland Rice, (2) the Associated Press, (3) the United Press, (4) the All-America Board, (5) Football News, (6) the International News Service (INS), (7) Look magazine, (8) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) and (9) the Sporting News.
Ohio State quarterback Les Horvath and Navy tackle Don Whitmire were the only players unanimously chosen as first-team player by all of the official selectors. Horvath won the 1944 Heisman Trophy as the Buckeyes turned in a 9–0 record and finished second in the national polls. Whitmire later served in Vietnam and held the rank of rear admiral.
Georgia Tech end Phil Tinsley received first-team honors from eight of the nine official selectors, and Army backfield duo of Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard each received seven first-team honors.1944 Ohio State Buckeyes football team
The 1944 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented Ohio State University in the 1944 Big Ten Conference football season. The Buckeyes compiled a 9–0 record. The Buckeyes also outscored opponents 287–79 during the season. The team was named a national champion by the National Championship Foundation and the Sagarin Ratings, but this championship is not claimed by Ohio State.Carroll Widdoes
Carroll C. Widdoes (December 3, 1903 – September 22, 1971) was an American football coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head coach at Ohio State University (1944–1945) and Ohio University (1949–1957), compiling a career record of 58–38–5. Widdoes's 1944 Ohio State team went undefeated and was retroactively named national champion by the National Championship Foundation and the Sagarin Ratings.Charles Csuri
Charles "Chuck" Csuri (born July 4, 1922) is an artist from the United States, and a pioneer in the field of digital art. He was described by the Smithsonian magazine as the father of digital art and computer animation.Horváth
Horváth is a common Hungarian surname. It was adopted from Slavic.
It is an older version of the noun "Hrvat" which is the Croatian-language name for a Croat, (Hungarian: Horvát). The related surname "Horvat" is the most common surname in Croatia or the Croatian diaspora. "Horváth" is the 4th most common surname in Hungary and the most common in Slovakia.Hungarian Ohioans
Hungarian Ohioans are Hungarian Americans living in Ohio. Their number was 203,417 in 2010 and 183,593 in 2014. Fairport Harbor, Ohio is 11.8% Hungarian American. In Cleveland and its neighboring areas there live more than 107,000 Hungarians, of which over 7,400 speak the language, the third highest number in the nation. Some resources stated that there was time when Cleveland was the second greatest Hungarian settlement outside Budapest. Most of the Hungarians live in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where they make up 3.1% of the total population. There is also a large colony of Hungarians in Toledo, Ohio. Two former local representatives reside in Toledo: Peter Ujvagi and Matt Szollosi. In Toledo one can find the famous Tony Packo's Cafe.James Ford Rhodes High School
James Ford Rhodes High School is located in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, in the west-side neighborhood known as Old Brooklyn. It is part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and is commonly referred to as "Rhodes High School."
The school was named for the American industrialist and historian James Ford Rhodes. Drew Carey, actor and current host of The Price Is Right; Les Horvath, 1944 Heisman Trophy winner; and poet d.a. levy are alumni of Rhodes.Ohio State Buckeyes football
The Ohio State Buckeyes football team competes as part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, representing Ohio State University in the East Division of the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State has played their home games at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio since 1922. The Buckeyes are recognized by the university and NCAA as having won eight national championships along with 39 conference championships (including 37 Big Ten titles), seven division championships, 10 undefeated seasons, and six perfect seasons (no losses or ties). As of 2017, the football program is valued at $1.5 billion, the highest valuation of any such program in the country.The first Ohio State game was a 20–14 victory over Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, on May 3, 1890. The team was a football independent from 1890 to 1901 before joining the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) as a charter member in 1902. The Buckeyes won two conference championships while members of the OAC and in 1912 became members of the Big Ten Conference.Ohio State won their first national championship in 1942 under head coach Paul Brown. Following World War II, Ohio State saw sparse success on the football field with three separate coaches and in 1951 hired Woody Hayes to coach the team. Under Hayes, Ohio State won over 200 games, 13 Big Ten championships and five national championships (1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, and 1970), and had four Rose Bowl wins in eight appearances. Following Hayes' dismissal in 1978, Earle Bruce and later John Cooper coached the team to a combined seven conference championships between them. Jim Tressel was hired as head coach in 2001 and led Ohio State to its seventh national championship in 2002. Under Tressel, Ohio State won seven Big Ten championships and appeared in eight Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games, winning five of them. In November 2011, Urban Meyer became head coach. Under Meyer, the team went 12–0 in his first season and set a school record with 24 consecutive victories, won three Big Ten championships (2014, 2017, and 2018), and won the first College Football Playoff National Championship of its kind in 2014.Ohio State Buckeyes football yearly statistical leaders
Ohio State Buckeyes football yearly statistical leaders in points scored, rushing yards, passing yards, receptions, and total tackles.Ohio State Football All-Century Team
The Ohio State Football All-Century Team was chosen in early 2000 by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. It was selected to honor the greatest Ohio State Buckeyes football players of the 20th century. No effort was made to distinguish a first team or second team, the organization instead choosing only to select an 80-man roster and a five-man coaching staff.
Members selected to the team were honored at a banquet on February 19, 2000. Living members of the team elected all-century captains and an all-century Most Valuable Player. As captains they chose Archie Griffin and Rex Kern on offense, and Chris Spielman and Jack Tatum on defense. Archie Griffin was selected as MVP.Ohio State University College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University College of Dentistry is one of the graduate schools of The Ohio State University. The college is the third largest public dental school in the U.S. and consists of nine academic divisions representing all major dental specialties. In addition to the D.D.S. degree, the Ohio State College of Dentistry offers specialty training programs, advanced training programs, MS programs, and a Ph.D. program in Oral Biology. Outreach and Engagement activities include over 60 active programs and more than 42 extramural sites, which continue to expand.Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame
The Ohio State Varsity "O" Hall of Fame is the athletic hall of fame for The Ohio State University. Its purpose is to recognize individuals who have contributed to the honor and fame of the University in the field of athletics.
An athlete must have earned at least one Varsity "O" letter to be eligible. An athlete is considered for recognition a minimum of five years after the graduation of his or her class. A coach or member of the athletic department must have served the Ohio State University for at least 15 years to be considered.Paul Sarringhaus
Paul Richard Sarringhaus (August 13, 1920 – April 7, 1998) was an American football halfback who played two seasons in the National Football League with the Chicago Cardinals and Detroit Lions. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the ninth round of the 1944 NFL Draft. He played college football at Ohio State University and attended Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Ohio.Sporting News College Football Player of the Year
The Sporting News College Football Player of the Year award is given to the player of the year in college football as adjudged by Sporting News.
Les Horvath—championships, awards, and honors