Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

John Tavener

John Tavener


  • Position: Center
  • School: Indiana
  • High School: Granville, OH (Granville HS)
  • Years: 1941-1944
  • Inducted: 1990
  • Place of Birth: Newark, OH
  • Date of Birth: Jan 10, 1921
  • Place of Death: Columbus, OH
  • Date of Death: Sep 19, 1993
  • Jersey Number: 38
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 220

Member Biography

John Tavener was a four-time letterman at Indiana, was captain for two years, 1943-1944, and was elected Most Valuable Player on the team for two years, 1943-1944. In 1944 he called offensive signals while playing center. He backed up the line on defense and place-kicked extra points. He made six All-America teams in 1944. Under the unusual rules of the time, Tavener played in three College All-Star Games, 1944-1945-1946. He scored a touchdown by recovering a fumble in the 1944 game. After college, Tavener entered the banking business in Ohio. He was in it 38 years, retiring in 1986. In 1987, at age 64, he became a volunteer coach for Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Denison used a single-wing offense, and Tavener coached the centers, using the long-snap to the tailback as he had been taught. He continued to reside in Johnstown, Ohio, where he was an outstanding public speaker, a leader in Baptist Church activities, a 32nd-degree Mason, a Shriner, and past treasurer of Ohio Young Republicans.