“College Football – America’s Most Evolutionary Sport – 150 Years of Change"
Jan 07, 2020 12:00 PM
Kent Stephens, College Football Hall of Fame
“College Football – America’s Most Evolutionary Sport – 150 Years of Change"

At an early age, Kent Stephens became interested in sports largely through the success of two local teams: The Cincinnati Reds, who won the National League pennant in 1961, and the Cincinnati Bearcats, who went to five consecutive Final Fours, winning the National Championship in 1961 and 1962. Growing up, he was always interested in reading about sports history and American history, the two subjects he truly excelled in as a student.

Kent attended the University of Cincinnati, and received a BFA in Broadcasting from UC. Upon graduation, he held a position at a local television station where he produced and directed broadcasts of local high school sporting events.

In the summer of 1988, Kent assisted with the management of a summer collegiate baseball team. This experience led him to enroll in the Sports Management program at The Ohio State University. He stood out as the only person in the class who could link aspects of sports to pop culture, economics, racial issues, gender issues, politics, etc. So much so, his professors asked him to change his major to sports history.

While at OSU, Kent pursued an internship at the College Football Hall of Fame, located just 20 miles north of Cincinnati. After graduation, he was hired at the Hall as the director of the Traveling Hall during football season and the assistant historian and curator the rest of the year. In 1995, the museum moved to South Bend and Stephens relocated to Indiana to remain the historian and curator.

The South Bend museum closed at the end of 2012, and Kent and his family moved from northern Indiana to Atlanta to continue his career as the museum’s historian and curator of the new Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame.

INTRODUCTION: Michael Butkus
INVOCATION: Melissa Ehrhardt