IRVING, Texas (May 25, 2023) – Brad Crawford, the 2000 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and three-time All-American cornerback from Franklin College (IN), 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, Indiana.
Born Dec. 13, 1955, in Logansport (IN), 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.
About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship, and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters in 47 states, NFF programs include the selection and induction of members of the College Football Hall of Fame; the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta; Future For Football; The William V. Campbell Trophy®; the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments; the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards & Hatchell Cup presented by the Original Bob’s Steak & Chop House; and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Catapult, Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Hanold Associates Executive Search, Jostens, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the New York Athletic Club, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation and the Sports Business Journal. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork and learn more at footballfoundation.org.