Clifford inducted into OHSFCA Hall of Fame


Former Portsmouth football coach member of ‘22 class

By Jacob Smith - [email protected]



Curt Clifford (left) was presented his induction into the OHSFCA Hall of Fame by former player and assistant coach Ted Newsome (right).

Curt Clifford (left) was presented his induction into the OHSFCA Hall of Fame by former player and assistant coach Ted Newsome (right).


Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Former Portsmouth High School football coach Curt Clifford was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) Hall of Fame on Friday at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.


Jacob Smith | Daily Times

COLUMBUS — Former Portsmouth High School coach Curt Clifford spent 24 falls roaming the sidelines as the Trojans’ head football coach.

In the 10th year following his retirement in 2012, Clifford officially joined the elite ranks as a member of the 53rd Class of the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) Hall of Fame.

Clifford, along with Sam Fornsaglio (Cadiz HS), Jeff Durban (Lake HS), Ed Nasonti (Bellevue HS), Joe Yost (Akron Ellet HS) and Bob Ramsay (Dalton HS), was inducted into the OHSFCA HOF on Friday at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.

Clifford’s former player and assistant coach Ted Newsome had the honors of presenting his former coach and friend with his induction.

“I first met Curt in 1983, I was in the 10th grade and he was my offensive line coach at Portsmouth High School,” Newsome said. “From that point, I always looked up to Curt and considered him a mentor. Many years after high school, Curt gave me my first coaching at Portsmouth. This is the part of the story where my mentor became my friend.”

Prior to becoming a head coach in 1989, Clifford served as an assistant for 12 seasons at Portsmouth under four different head coaches.

When he got his opportunity to be the head man, he made the most of it — compiling a 139-109 career record in 24 seasons at the helm.

“I had a lot of fun — I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Clifford said, during his speech. “I stayed at Portsmouth my whole career because that’s where I thought I belonged.”

In addition to his coaching days, Clifford was a standout player as well being a class of 1972 Portsmouth graduate and later a 1977 Wilmington College grad.

Clifford and his wife, Mary, also celebrated their 44th Wedding Anniversary, as she was among those he thanked in his induction speech.

“There’s certainly a bunch of people I’d like to thank. First of all the selection committee, a sincere thank you. I certainly want to thank my family. My immediate family is here — my wife Mary, my son Tyler and his wife Sarah, my daughter Caitlin and her husband Jerrod. My sister-in-law Alice, my sister-in-law Sonya, my brother Doug. My family means everything to me. And on top of going into the Hall of Fame, today is my wife and I’s 44th wedding anniversary. Being a coach’s wife isn’t easy, especially when you’re raising three children.”

Clifford’s Trojans reached the Division III state semifinals in 2000 — the same season he was named AP Division III Coach of the Year in Ohio and the AP Southeast District Coach of the Year.

Three years later, Clifford was named the head coach of the South team during the annual North South All Star Game in 2003.

“It (Portsmouth) was kind of considered a career killer — I persevered. I persevered through four different head coaches, served in a lot of different capacities, and I finally got my shot by default. But that’s okay, it doesn’t matter how you get it — just that you did. I did and did the best I could.”

Clifford becomes the third member of the OHSFCA HOF who was a head coach in Scioto County — joining Ed Miller (Class of 1996) and Carl Benhase (Class of 2001).

“This is an honor that I can’t describe,” Clifford said. “Our profession was a tight one.”

Curt Clifford (left) was presented his induction into the OHSFCA Hall of Fame by former player and assistant coach Ted Newsome (right).
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/06/web1_IMG_3072-1.jpgCurt Clifford (left) was presented his induction into the OHSFCA Hall of Fame by former player and assistant coach Ted Newsome (right). Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Former Portsmouth High School football coach Curt Clifford was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) Hall of Fame on Friday at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/06/web1_IMG_3107-1.jpgFormer Portsmouth High School football coach Curt Clifford was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) Hall of Fame on Friday at the Hilton Columbus at Easton. Jacob Smith | Daily Times
Former Portsmouth football coach member of ‘22 class

By Jacob Smith

[email protected]

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved