Five Fun Facts about Legendary Players and Coaches Who Spent Time on the Hardwood and the Turf
February, 26 2019
Get prepared for bracket busters, Cinderella stories and all the action during the Tournament with this list of five players and coaches who found success on the gridiron and also got nothing but net on the basketball court. Swoosh.
Before dual-sport legends like Deion and Bo, Otto Graham dominated the turf and the court. He is the only College Football Hall of Fame inductee to win a professional basketball championship title (with the Rochester Royals) and a professional football championship title (with the Cleveland Browns) in the same year – 1946.
Vic Hanson is the only player inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. At Syracuse, he played football as an end, was a one-time All-American in football and a three-time All-American in basketball. After college, he went on to play professional ball in Cleveland in the American Basketball League.
One of the most notable College Football Hall of Famers ever, Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg, played in the first basketball game ever while he was a student at Springfield College in 1892. Then, at the University of Chicago, he coached the first five-on-five college basketball game in 1895. No surprise here, Coach Stagg was also inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959.
College Football Hall of Fame member Charlie Ward was a highly-awarded quarterback at Florida State University, winning the 1993 Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award. In spite of his success on the field, his true passion was basketball and he ended his promising football career to play with the New York Knicks.
The College Football Hall of Fame has 14 members who gained All-America status in college basketball. The most recent? The University of Michigan’s Ron Kramer who was a third team basketball All-America in 1957.