Oct. 12, 1921 South Bend St. Joseph County Indiana, USA
Nov. 14, 1995 Glendale Los Angeles County California, USA
LESLIE HORVATH OHIO STATE HEISMAN WINNER IN 1944: - November 16, 1995
Leslie Horvath, a multipurpose back at Ohio State who won the Heisman Trophy in 1944, died of heart failure at his home in Glendale, Calif. He was 74.
Detective Will Currie of the Glendale Police Department said yesterday that Mr. Horvath appeared to have died of coronary disease.
Mr. Horvath had lunch with a friend Monday and missed a dinner appointment Tuesday, Currie said. Police found his body after being alerted by a dinner companion, who called asking them to check on Mr. Horvath, he said.
Mr. Horvath, nicknamed "the Playing Coach" for his versatility on the field, graduated from Ohio State in 1945 with a degree in dentistry.
He was the first of four Ohio State players to win the Heisman, leading the Buckeyes to a 9-0 record and a No. 2 ranking in the final AP poll in 1944.
Mr. Horvath played quarterback, halfback and defensive back as a senior, accounting for 1,248 yards in total offense. He led the Big Ten Conference in rushing (a then-record 924 yards in conference games) and total offense (953) in his final year and was selected as most valuable player in the conference.
Six of his 14 pass completions as a senior went for touchdowns.
He totaled 412 points in the balloting for the 1944 Heisman, edging the Army inside-outside duo of Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard.
The native of Parma, Ohio, also was a starter on Ohio State's 1942 national championship team.
For his career, he had 290 rushing attempts for 1,546 yards (an average of 5.3 yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns. He also completed 25 of his 50 pass attempts for 509 yards.
He entered the Navy in June 1945, serving as a dental officer in the morning and as assistant football coach to Paul Brown in the afternoon at the Great Lakes training station in Chicago. He continued coaching when he was transferred to Hawaii and his team won the service championship.
He played three years of pro football with the Los Angeles Rams and the Cleveland Browns before starting a dentistry practice in Los Angeles.