Former Ohio State Walk-On And Fallen Vietnam War Soldier Rick Hausman Gets Honorary Gold Pants

By May 9, 2024 (4:33 pm)Football

Rick Hausman, the former Ohio State football player who left the program during the 1968 national championship season to serve in the Vietnam War before dying in combat, was posthumously honored with a pair of Gold Pants at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Tuesday.

Hausman, a Hilliard, Ohio, native, joined Ohio State as a walk-on in 1967 and was part of the 1968 team that went on to defeat Michigan 50-14 and win the program’s fifth-ever national championship at the Rose Bowl. While Hausman was on the team during the team’s blowout win over the Wolverines, he left the program before their Rose Bowl contest against USC after being drafted by the U.S. Army to serve in the Vietnam War as a Private First Class Officer, or PFC. 

Hausman was tragically killed in combat just two months after being deployed while providing cover for his wounded comrades on May 27, 1969, one of 242 deaths that week alone in Vietnam. The tragic death later earned him a posthumous Silver Star for valor in combat.  

56 years after his death, Hausman was officially welcomed as an honorary member of the Gold Pants Club, where, with multiple former Buckeyes on hand, the organization presented the award to Hausman’s sisters, Bobbie Collins and Ann Lisk. 

“On behalf of the Gold Pants Club, we know Rick and the sacrifice he made for our great country,” said Jim Lachey, president of the Gold Pants Club and a former All-American offensive tackle for Ohio State. “(This is a) long overdue pair of Gold Pants.” 

In addition to the Gold Pants, Hausman has received many other posthumous honors in recent years. He was inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame on May 3, and also has served as the namesake of the Rick Hausman Silver Bullet Award for leadership since last year, which is presented annually to the top Ohio State ROTC cadet. 

“There’s a saying that a man dies two deaths,” Ltc. Mike Kelvinton, the professor of military science at Ohio State with the Army ROTC, told ABC6. “His physical death, and then when his name is spoken for the last time. This (award) helps preserve Rick Hausman’s legacy at Ohio State.” 

Hausman is also expected to receive a 1968 championship ring from Ohio State later this year. 

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