Former Memphis Hall of Famer Bob Ford Loses Battle with Cancer
Feb. 11, 2014
Bob Ford, who played center/end for the Memphis State College Tigers from 1951-54, has lost his battle with cancer. Ford, age 80, died on Saturday, Feb. 8, in Wynne, Ark., and was buried the same afternoon. A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Wynne on Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Ford came to Memphis State College in the fall of 1951 and lettered in each of his first two seasons as a Tiger center and linebacker under head coach Ralph Hatley. The tall, speedy Arkansan was moved to end as a junior and joined Will Renfro to become one of the team's top two pass receivers.
During the 1953 season he helped lead the Tigers to a win over No. 19-ranked Southern Mississippi. MSC would finish the 1953 season with a 6-4 record. Ford caught two passes for 33 yards and one touchdown during his junior campaign.
In 1954, the senior caught 10 passes for 109 yards. He ranked second on the team in pass receptions and third in yards receiving.
Following graduation Ford entered the coaching profession as an assistant under Hatley at Memphis State. He left the Tigers to coach under the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant at Alabama and then served on the staffs at Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi State before landing at Arkansas where he would earn his law degree while coaching with Razorback coach Frank Broyles.
In 1970, Ford began a lengthy law practice in Wynne and continued to serve the needs of the citizens of Wynne until January of this year. While working as an attorney, Ford used his weekends to serve as a professional football scout for the Dallas Cowboys, a position he held for 25 years.
A veteran of the United States Army, Ford was inducted into the University of Memphis M Club Hall of Fame in 1983 and was named the Cross County Citizen of the Year in 2013.