Buckeyes Bringing Eddie Home
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — They chanted his name inside the Horseshoe for two seasons when he was the best running back in college football. Now Eddie George is returning home.
The Ohio State University announced Monday that the school’s legendary running back has returned to his alma mater to serve as assistant vice president for business advancement. George, who won the Heisman Trophy back in 1995, will primarily be called upon to engage alumni and friends in the life of the university, while assisting with fundraising, alumni relations, and communications for Ohio State.
“Eddie brings such a breadth of talent to the university, and his entrepreneurial spirit, business experience and leadership skills are great assets to our ongoing work,” said E. Gordon Gee, president of The Ohio State University.
“Having Eddie return to our team is a great coup for the university.”
George joins fellow Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and two-time All-American Mike Doss as famous Buckeyes who have recently returned to their alma mater in a new support role.
While his role sounds similar to that of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, the current CEO of Ohio State’s alumni association, George will also support personalized medicine initiatives, sports business education and work with student-athletes on personal and professional development.
The 39-year-old will report to Jeff Kaplan, senior vice president and executive officer to President Gee.
“Eddie’s unique accomplishments – at Ohio State and beyond – enable him to extend the reach of our efforts to new and existing university partners and alliances in powerful ways,” said Kaplan.
“His commitment to the well-being of young people will make him a strong mentor for our current students, and his work with alumni and friends across the country will be a powerful asset.”
George, a 2001 graduate of Ohio State, earned his bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. He is also a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, earning his MBA in 2009.
Since retiring from the National Football League back in 2005, George has built multiple businesses around developing healthy people and healthy places. As an entrepreneur and radio and television personality, George continues to make an impact in the communities where he does business and beyond.
Along with partners, George has opened restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee (Eddie George Sports Grille) and Columbus (Eddie George's Grille 27) near the Ohio State University campus. He is also a principal of The Edge Group, a planning and landscape architecture firm with locations in Columbus, Toledo and Nashville.
“It is such an honor and privilege to be able to work for Ohio State, which gave me so much and helped me grow personally and professionally.” said George.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to apply what I‘ve learned from my academic and football journey while at the university, along with the work I’ve been doing in the world of business, to support the transformative initiatives happening at my alma mater.”
As a junior at Ohio State, George rushed for 1,442 yards and 12 touchdowns for an Ohio State team that won nine games during the regular season and beat Michigan in the season finale for the first time since 1987, Earle Bruce’s final season as head coach.
The following year, George set an OSU single-season record with 1,927 yards on the ground. He also had nearly 400 yards receiving out of the backfield and scored 25 touchdowns on his way to the Heisman Trophy.
George was drafted 14th overall by the Houston Oilers in the 1996 NFL Draft and he would rush for over 10,000 yards in nine season with the Oilers/Titans and Dallas Cowboys.
He eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in seven of his nine seasons, including his first five years in the league. George was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and a key member of the Tennessee Titans team that lost an epic battle with the St. Louis Rams in the 2000 Super Bowl.
In 2011, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
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