Brad Crawford, the 2000 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and three-time All-American cornerback from Franklin College, passed away May 21. He was 67.
“Brad Crawford was one of the best to ever play in the NAIA, and his exceptional speed made him a dual threat on defense and kickoff returns,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “His accomplishments are forever immortalized in the Hall in Atlanta, and we are deeply saddened to learn of his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time of loss.”
Brad Crawford’s forte was speed, a talent he utilized to run back kickoffs and intercept passes playing for the Grizzlies from 1974-1977. The numbers he produced earned him NAIA All-America honors three times. Crawford anchored the Grizzlies’ defense four consecutive years as a starter and had a natural instinct to find the football in midair.
In 1975 he set the school record for interceptions in a season with nine. He was voted the top athlete in District 21 in 1976, and the number two athlete in 1977. He was recognized as the team’s Most Valuable Player three times and at the end of his senior year, he held school career records for interceptions with 25 and kickoff return average with 25.9 yards.
Crawford also starred on the track team earning four letters and was the team’s Most Valuable Player three times. He is the school’s co-record holder in the 100-yard sprint with a time of 9.9 seconds.
He was inducted into NAIA Hall of Fame in 1986 and Franklin College’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. After receiving his B.A. from Franklin, he went on to earn his M.D. from Indiana University in 1982. He became a dentist, practicing in Winamac.
Born Dec. 13, 1955 in Logansport, Crawford graduated from Winamac Community High School in 1974. He is survived by wife, Beth Ruff-Crawford; daughter, Florence “Kelsey” Crawford; brother, Keven Crawford; sister, Tina (Steve) Knebel; Beth’s sons, Jake (Jenna) Ruff and Josh (Hayley) Ruff; and grandson Calvin Abraham Ruff.
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