Archie Griffin Honored With Statue at Rose Bowl Stadium

By Chase Brown on February 2, 2024 at 2:52 pm
Archie Griffin

Archie Griffin will be celebrated with a statue at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.

On Friday, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation announced its plans to dedicate a statue to the legendary Ohio State running back. Griffin – college football’s only two-time Heisman Trophy winner – is one of two players ever to have started in four consecutive Rose Bowls. He is also a member of the Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame (1990), an honor that came four years after he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

“I am humbled to have a statue in my honor at the Rose Bowl Stadium, one of the most prestigious stadiums in America. I feel blessed to have played in four Rose Bowl Games,” Griffin said in a press release. “Please know that when you honor me with this recognition, you also honor the teams that I played on during my four years at The Ohio State University. I was simply in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. That’s what allowed me to enjoy the success that my teammates and I experienced. Again, I am extremely grateful to be honored in this manner.”

Griffin is the gold standard for Ohio State greatness. Across four seasons from 1972-75, Griffin rushed for 5,589 yards and 25 touchdowns, becoming a three-time All-American for the Buckeyes. He gained 412 of those yards in the Rose Bowl, including 149 yards in his 1974 appearance.

A Columbus native and Eastmoor graduate, Griffin is Ohio State’s career rushing yards leader and its career leader in rushing yards per game (121.5) with an incredible 34 career 100-yard rushing games, 12 more than any other Buckeye all-time. Griffin also holds the NCAA record for most consecutive 100-yard games with 31 in a row from 1973-75.

“Archie Griffin is one of the greatest players in college football history, and we applaud the Rose Bowl Stadium for erecting his statue as part of the new Heisman Walk,” said Steve Hatchell, National Football Foundation president and CEO. “As a College Football Hall of Fame inductee and long-standing member of the National Football Foundation board of directors, he has dedicated his life to promoting and protecting the game. Archie’s statue will serve as a fitting tribute to a man whose legacy is something we can all celebrate.”

The Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation will erect Griffin’s statue in the stadium’s Court of Champions. Nearby, a Legends Walk will also be created to educate visitors on the 19 Heisman Trophy winners who have played in the Rose Bowl Game. Along with Griffin, players from UCLA, Wisconsin, Oregon, Oklahoma, USC and more will be represented in the Legends Walk.

Donors from across the country, including Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein, supported the endeavors.

“Our family has known Archie Griffin for many years.” Jay Schottenstein said. “Not only is he one of the greatest college football players of all time, he is a great person who throughout his life has made significant and long-lasting contributions to his community and to The Ohio State University. The Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation has made a wise choice in selecting Archie to be honored with a statue at the Rose Bowl Stadium.”

Archie Griffin Statue
Rendering of Archie Griffin statue at the Rose Bowl Stadium, to be publicly dedicated in mid-August 2024. (Photo: The Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation)

Griffin’s statue – which will be the first Archie Griffin statue established anywhere in America – will be the fifth on the Rose Bowl Stadium property and will accompany statues for Jackie Robinson (2017), the 1999 Team USA FIFA Women’s World Cup champions (2019), broadcaster Keith Jackson (2019) and former UCLA head coach Terry Donahue (2023). In addition to its appearance in Pasadena, a full-size replica of the statue will be gifted to Ohio State to be placed in Columbus.

“On behalf of The Ohio State University and the Department of Athletics, I wish to extend our most sincere thanks and gratitude to the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation for this wonderful honor of memorializing our all-time great, Archie Griffin, with a statue at the Rose Bowl Stadium,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said. “Knowing Archie, he would want a statue for all the Heisman Trophy winners along the Legacy Walk. His accomplishments on and off the playing field are truly legendary and still one-of-a-kind 50 years later, and we are so proud and grateful that he is a Buckeye.”

The Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation plans to unveil Griffin’s statue and the Legends Walk at a dedication event in August. Additional information about the event will be announced at a later time.

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