Vic Janowicz

American baseball and football player (1930–1996)

Vic Janowicz
Janowicz, circa 1953
Victor Felix Janowicz

(1930-02-26)February 26, 1930
Elyria, Ohio, U.S.
DiedFebruary 27, 1996(1996-02-27) (aged 66)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
American football player

American football career
No. 43
Personal information
Height:5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight:187 lb (85 kg)
Career information
High school:Elyria
College:Ohio State (1949–1951)
NFL draft:1952 / Round: 7 / Pick: 79
Career history
  • Washington Redskins (1954–1955)
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:410
Rushing average:4.1
Rushing touchdowns:4
Receiving yards:148
Receiving touchdowns:3
Player stats at · PFR
College Football Hall of Fame
Baseball player

Baseball career
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 31, 1953, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
September 10, 1954, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB statistics
Batting average.214
Home runs2

Victor Felix Janowicz (February 26, 1930 – February 27, 1996) was an American football halfback who played for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). The 1950 Heisman Trophy winner, he played college football for the Ohio State Buckeyes and was selected in the seventh round of the 1952 NFL Draft. He was a multi-sport athlete, playing two seasons of professional baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Janowicz was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1976.

Early life

Janowicz was born and raised in Elyria, Ohio as son of Polish immigrants. He went to Holy Cross Elementary School and graduated from Elyria High School. The stretch of Seventh Street which runs along the south side of Elyria High is named Vic Janowicz Drive in his honor. In addition, a life-size painting of Janowicz hangs in the lobby of the school.

College career

Janowicz played college football at Ohio State University. A tailback in the single wing, he won the Heisman Trophy in 1950 as a junior. Woody Hayes, who coached Janowicz's senior year, said of him, "He was not only a great runner, but also passed, was a placekicker and punter, played safety on defense and was an outstanding blocker. Janowicz epitomized the 'triple-threat' football player."[1]

Professional career

After college, Janowicz passed up offers to play professional football in order to pursue a baseball career. He reached the major leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but hit only .214 over two seasons as a bench player. He returned to football late in the 1954 season with the Washington Redskins, and was their starting halfback in 1955. During training camp in 1956, he suffered a serious brain injury in an automobile accident that left him partially paralyzed and ended his athletic career.

Janowicz eventually made a full recovery and became a broadcaster of Buckeye football games. Later he worked as an account executive at a Columbus manufacturing firm and, from 1986, as an administrative assistant to the state auditor.

Janowicz's grave at St. Joseph Cemetery (Lockbourne, Ohio)

He died in Columbus, Ohio, of cancer on February 27, 1996, a day after his 66th birthday.


  1. ^ "The Repository". Retrieved 2019-05-29.

External links

  • Vic Janowicz at the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Vic Janowicz at
  • Career statistics and player information from · Pro Football Reference
  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball Reference
Vic Janowicz—awards, and honors
*Note: The 2005 winner was originally awarded to Reggie Bush, but he forfeited the award in 2010 due to violating NCAA rules. The Heisman Trust subsequently decided to leave the 2005 award vacated.
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Sporting News College Football Player of the Year winners
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Chicago Tribune Silver Football
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Washington Redskins 1952 NFL Draft selections