Archie Griffin Bio : NFL, Career & Wife

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In the history of football, Archie Griffin is the only athlete to win the Heisman Trophy twice.

To begin with, Archie didn’t make the football team because of his non-athletic appearance. But, as the saying goes, appearances aren’t everything.

His incredible football abilities stunned the people who questioned Griffin’s athleticism. As a result of this, he went on to become a football icon, winning back-to-back awards and breaking several records.

Archie Griffin
Famous NFL player Archie Griffin (Source: Land grant holy land)

Griffin has a long list of achievements and honors, including the prestigious Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Award, Maxwell award, and so on.

This article will take you through Archie Griffin‘s historical journey from a football aspirant to becoming a football legend. Also, learn about his childhood, net worth, career, and relationships.

But before we get into it, let’s look at some quick facts about him.

Quick Facts

Full Name Archie Mason Griffin
Name Archie Griffin
Nick Name Tank, Butterball
Date of Birth August 21, 1954
Age 69 years old.
Birth Place Columbus, Ohio
Nationality American
Ethnicity Black
Zodiac Sign  Virgo
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 189 lb (86 kg)
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Black
Father’s Name James Griffin
Mother’s Name Margaret Monroe Griffin
Siblings Six brothers and a sister: Jimmy, Larry, Daryle, Duncan, Raymond, Keith (brothers), and Crystal (sister)
High School Eastmoor High School 
Education Graduate
University Ohio State University
Marital Status Married
Wife  Bonita Griffin
Marriage Year 1987
Children Four; Adam Griffin, Anthony, Andre & Adam Griffin
Grandchildren Three; Kamron, Diante, and Adrien Grifffin
Profession Former NFL Player
Position Running Back
Jersey Number 45
Leagues   National Football League (NFL)
NFL Draft 24th overall pick in the first round of the 1976 NFL Draft  by the Cincinnati Bengals 
Debut Year  1976
Retirement 1985
Playing Teams
  • Cincinnati Bengals (1976–1982)
  • Jacksonville Bulls (1985)
Major Achievement
  • Two times recipient of the Heisman Trophy 
Awards and achievements
  • Maxwell Award (1975)
  • Two times Big Ten Most Valuable Player (1973, 1974)
  • Three times First-team All-American (1973–1975)
  • Ohio State Buckeyes No. 45 retired
Net Worth   $3 million
Social Media None 
Merch Autobiography
Last Update  April 2024

Archie Griffin | Early Life

The NFL legend, Archie Mason Griffin, was born in Columbus, Ohio, on August 21, 1954. He was born as the middle child to James Griffin (father) and Margaret Monroe Griffin (mother).

Archie comes from a big family, with six brothers and a sister. Jimmy, Larry, Daryle, Duncan, Raymond, and Keith are his brothers, and Crystal is his only sister.

It seems athletics was in the blood of Archie’s family: all four of his brothers played collegiate football, and two of them went on to play in the NFL.

Archie Griffin with his brothers and sister
Archie Griffin with his big family. (Source : Chilicotte Gazette)

However, it was hard for Archie’s father to raise this big family. A decent education was the finest gift Griffin’s father could offer his children, so he worked tirelessly to provide for his family.

At one time, he worked three jobs, driving a sanitation truck during the day, cleaning a school at night, and working in a steel factory.

His father’s effort was worth it, as Griffin’s family is now a legacy at Ohio State University, where Archie and his brothers have made major contributions to college football.


Archie attended Eastmoor High School in Columbus, where he wanted to play for the school football team. But, he was small and overweight then, and the coach did not consider him a footballer.

He started to go to the gym to come into shape and finally stepped onto the team when one of the members was injured.

Griffin was Eastmoor High School’s starting halfback for the following three years, where he earned all-district accolades as a junior and was named to the All-State Team after guiding the team to the City Championship in 1972.

Apart from excelling in the field, Griffin excelled in his classroom, making him a top student in the high school.

Age, Height & Weight

The NFL star was born on August 21, 1954, making him 69 years old. People born in August are Virgo.

Furthermore, Archie was born in Columbus, Ohio, and identifies as an American of black ethnicity. Also, Griffin is 5 ft 9 (1.75 m) tall and weighs around 189 lb (86 kg). 

Griffin was short and overweight in his childhood. This was the sole reason why he was rejected from the school team, but he was dedicated to becoming fit and healthy, so he started to work out at young age to attain that athletic figure.

Archie Griffin| College Career

Griffin aspired to attend Northwestern University but was convinced to play for Ohio State instead. 

Archie was unstoppable in his college, smashing records upon records. He carried for at least 100 yards in 34 games throughout his four-year college career, including an NCAA record 31 times.

Archie Griffin playing for Ohio State University
Archie Griffin, playing for Ohio State University (Source:

In addition, Griffin, along with Brian Cushing, is one of just two players in college football history to start four Rose Bowl games.

Archie Griffin | Professional Career

The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Archie Griffin in the first round of the 1976 NFL Draft as the 24th overall pick. This embarked on Griffin’s NFL journey, and he played for seven years (1976–1982), all with the Bengals.

He was briefly a member of the Jacksonville Bulls of the United States Football League after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Archie Griffin | Post Retirement

After retiring from the NFL, Archie Griffin promptly returned to Ohio State University. He served as the Director of Athletics’ special assistant in 1985.

In 1987, he was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director. He was appointed Senior Associate Athletic Director at Ohio State University in 1994.

Archie served as CEO and president of the Ohio State University Alumni Association for eleven years; he stepped back in 2015. He is currently a senior advisor at the Office of Advancement at Ohio State.

Archie Griffin | Awards and Achievements

  • Two times Heisman Trophy (1974, 1975)
  • Two times Walter Camp Award (1974, 1975)
  • Two times Sporting News Player of the Year (1974, 1975)
  • Two times UPI Player of the Year (1974, 1975)
  • Maxwell Award (1975)
  • Two times Big Ten Most Valuable Player (1973, 1974)
  • Three times First-team All-American (1973–1975)
  • Three times First-team All-Big Ten (1973–1975)
  • Ohio State Buckeyes No. 45 retired

The Archie Griffin Legacy

Archie is best known for winning Heisman Trophy twice. Following his contribution, he has been honored and inducted into several halls of fame for his contribution to the football field.

Griffin was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986. Likewise, he was inducted into Ohio State’s Varsity O Hall of Fame in 1981.

Archie Griffin with his heisman trophy (Source Land grant holy land)
Archie Griffin with his Heisman trophy (Source:  Land grant holy land)

He was inducted into the Rose Bowl’s Hall of Fame in 1990. In addition, his uniform number, 45, was retired in 1999.

Griffin was honored with a place in the High School Hall of Fame in 1996. Eastmoor Academy honored him by renaming their field the “Archie Griffin Field.”

Apart from this, he was honored on January 1, 2014, in recognition of the 100th Rose Bowl Game, and participated in the Rose Parade on January 2, 2014.

All the players want to be the best at their position. However, very few of the players achieve greatness. Learn about the Top 10 Best NFL Hall of Famers >>>

Autobiography: The Archie Griffin Story

Archie published his autobiography, Archie: The Archie Griffin Story, on January 1, 1977. Through this autobiography, he wanted to share his life story, lessons, and learnings.

Throughout the 192 paged book, he explains how he developed such a strong sense of self-worth. He has written about his journey from being a bullied child who was never considered a footballer to becoming one of the legendary footballers.

The Bankruptcy

Archie Griffin and his brother filed for bankruptcy in 1981 after their debt ballooned when their business venture failed terribly. The brothers had started an athletic shoe business, but it failed, leaving them in debt.

The duo had a debt of about $ 1 million while their assets just totaled $200 K.

Archie Griffin | Wife and Children

Wife, Bonita Griffin

Archie Griffin is married to Bonita Griffin. Unfortunately, not much is known about how the couple met and how the love story began.

Archie Griffin with his wife
Archie Griffin with his wife, Bonita Griffin (Source: Ohio State University)

But, it is known that the couple married on March 21, 1987, and is blessed with four children: Adam Griffin, Anthony, Andre & Adam.


His eldest son, Adam Griffin, followed in his father’s footsteps to play in the NFL. He showed exemplary talent in his school days. He was an All-District player in high school.

Due to his impressive specs, he was added to the Ohio Football team in 2010. But he was redshirted for the entire season. This did not discourage him; he came stronger and even won the Iron Buckeye award for the winter of 2013.

But unfortunately, Adam faced a shoulder injury in 2013, which marked the end of his football career before it even started.

His other son, Andre, also played running back at Ohio State from 1998 to 2001. The NFL legend currently serves as an assistant coach at Ohio Northern University and was previously the Head Coach at Lima Senior High School.

Apart from Adam and Andre, little information about his other children is available. His other children likely chose a different path from him.


Archie has grown quite old now to have his grandchildren. He has three grandsons: Kamron, Diante, and Adrien. On top of that, his grandchild is also walking in his footsteps.

His grandchild, Dianté Griffin, announced in April 2022 that he is accepting the agreement from Ohio State University to play for its football team. Diante is the son of Archie’s son, Andre Griffin.

The Griffin has been a staple name in Ohio, and Diante has continued the Griffin legacy.

Social Media Presence

Archie Griffin was born before the internet era and is not acquainted with them. Thus, he has no social media handles. However, there are some fan pages and fan clubs of Archie Griffin that you can join to get connected with his life updates.

Archie Griffin | Net Worth and Salary

The net worth of Archie Griffin is estimated to be $3 million. It would be only fair to assume that his NFL career significantly contributed to his fortune.

He has also earned a good fortune from his investments, sponsorships, and endorsements.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What are the overall NFL statistics of Archie Griffin?

In his NFL career, Archie Griffin has a total of 2808 rushing yards with 4.1 yards per carry. He has seven rushing touchdowns.

How did Archie Griffin win the Heisman twice?

In 1974, Griffin was a junior at the University of Georgia when he earned the Heisman Trophy for his 1,700-plus running yards and 12 touchdowns.

For the second time in his career, he was selected the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player after rushing for 1,450 yards and leading Ohio State to a fourth consecutive Rose Bowl appearance. He was awarded the Heisman award for the second time for his contribution.

Shaddy is a passionate writer and overall wordsmith. She is committed to satisfying your appetite for the content. She is not only an avid celebrity style enthusiast but also a singer herself. She makes cover songs during her free times.

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