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Logo of the Touchdown Club of Columbus

The Touchdown Club of Columbus was founded in Columbus, Ohio, in 1956 by Sam B. Nicola at the request of state auditor James A. Rhodes, who later became governor of the state.[1] Nicola served as the club's president until his death in 1993. More than a decade later, his son Sam Nicola Jr. took over the Touchdown Club.[1] On January 22, 2020, the president of the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Curt Boster, announced on the club's Facebook page the cancellation of the awards, citing difficulty of maintaining the event without a title sponsor.


The Touchdown Club of Columbus gives several awards to recognize outstanding athletes.[2]

Sammy Baugh Trophy

The Sammy Baugh Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's top collegiate passer.

Jim Brown Trophy

This honor goes to the NCAA's top running back, recently named for Hall of Famer Jim Brown.

Paul Warfield Trophy

Named for Paul Warfield, this honor is given to the nation's top collegiate wide receiver.

Jim Parker Trophy

Given yearly to the top collegiate offensive lineman. Named for Ohio State great and Hall of Famer Jim Parker.

Bill Willis Trophy

Named for Bill Willis, this award is given yearly to the top collegiate defensive lineman.

Jack Lambert Trophy

Named for Jack Lambert, this award is given yearly to the top collegiate linebacker.

Jack Tatum Trophy

Since 1991, the Jack Tatum Trophy is given yearly to the top collegiate defensive back. Named after the legendary Jack Tatum

Archie Griffin Award

The Archie Griffin Award signifies college football's most valuable player for the entire season.[3][4] It is named in honor of the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, Archie Griffin of Ohio State.

Chic Harley Award

Named for Chic Harley, this award is presented to the College Football Player of the Year.

Kellen Moore Award

Previously called the Quarterback of the Year Award, this accolade differs from Sammy Baugh Trophy in that it goes to top quarterback, rather than the top passer. Its name was changed to its current identity in 2012, honoring two-time winner Kellen Moore, who became the FBS all-time leader in wins by a quarterback after going 50–3 as the starter at Boise State.

Ozzie Newsome Award

Named for Ozzie Newsome, this award is presented annually to the top collegiate tight end.

Woody Hayes Trophy

See also: Category:College football coach of the year awards in the United States

Named for Woody Hayes, this award recognizes the top collegiate coach.

Zuppke Award

See also: College football national championships in NCAA Division I FBS

The Robert C. Zuppke Award trophy is given to the Touchdown Club of Columbus's selection for national champion[10] college football team.[9]

Freshman of the Year

Given yearly to the top college football newcomer.

Vlade Award

Named in honor of Vlade Janakievski, one of the most accurate placekickers in Ohio State football history, this award is given yearly to the most accurate college football kicker.

Paul Brown Trophy

Named for Paul Brown, this trophy is presented annually to the NFL Coach of the Year.

Joe F. Carr Trophy

Named for Joseph Carr, this trophy was presented annually (from 1955–1978) to the NFL Player of the Year. This award is not to be confused with the original Joe F. Carr Trophy which was the official National Football League MVP award from 1938–46. However, both trophies are named after Carr, a former NFL commissioner.

Sam B. Nicola Trophy

Named for the club's founder, this trophy is presented annually to the National High School Player of the Year.

James A. Rhodes Trophy

The James A. Rhodes Trophy is awarded annually to the Ohio High School player of the year. It is named for former Governor of Ohio James A. Rhodes, who was state auditor when he made the suggestion that led to the founding of the Touchdown Club of Columbus.

Male Athlete of the Year

Female Athlete of the Year

President's Award

TDC Lifetime Achievement Award

The Touchdown Club also gives the annual TDC Lifetime Achievement Award to a selected athlete.

FCS Player of the Year

See also


  1. ^ a b "Touchdown Club of Columbus". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Past Honoreess :: Touchdown Club of Columbus". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  3. ^ Chris, Trevino (January 4, 2017). "Darnold wins Archie Griffin Award". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  4. ^ Scrivens, Sarah (January 4, 2017). "USC QB Sam Darnold wins 2016 Archie Griffin Award". ESPN. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  5. ^ "Cassady to Receive Harley Award Tonight". The Coshocton Democrat. United Press. January 20, 1956. p. 12. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  6. ^ Howell, Fritz (January 15, 1965). "Columbus TD Club To Honor Sports Figures". The Daily Reporter. Associated Press. p. 11. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Greiner, John (May 3, 1979). "Sims, Sooners Suit Up For Big Senate Shindig". The Daily Oklahoman. p. 5. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  8. ^ Fravel, Cory (December 5, 2016). "Watson to Receive Chic Harley National Player of the Year". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Written at Columbus, Ohio. "Lou Holtz is honored". The Tribune. Coshocton, Ohio. Associated Press. February 19, 1989. Retrieved April 11, 2023. Touchdown Club of Columbus ... Woody Hayes Award for contributions to college football ... Robert A. Zuppke Award for having the best college football team in the nation in 1988.
  10. ^ a b Touchdown Club of Columbus — 2017 — Zuppke Award — University of Central Florida — National Champions (Trophy). University of Central Florida. February 17, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2023.