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Russ Crawford

Professor of History; Social Studies Advisor
History, Political Science, & Geography
Hill Memorial 208
525 S. Main Street
Ada, OH 45810

Professor of History Russ Crawford was born in Ainsworth, Nebraska in 1961. He graduated from Chadron State College with a BA in History in 1985, and again in 1991 with a BS in Social Studies Education. He taught Social Studies in South Dakota for five years, and Spanish in Iowa for three years before returning to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he received his MA in History in 2000, and his Ph.D. in 2005.  After teaching in Lincoln for one year, he began teaching at Ohio Northern University, where he currently teaches. Professor Crawford married Sophie Crawford in 2005, and they currently live in Ada, Ohio.

Crawford has published two books.  His first The Use of Sports to Promote the American Way of Life During the Cold War: Cultural Propaganda, 1946-1963, was based on his dissertation and published The Edwin Mellen Press in 2008.  His most recent book Le Football: The History of American Football in France came out in August of 2016 and was published by the University of Nebraska Press.

Professional Experience: 

Teaching Experience (University)

* Professor of History, Ohio Northern University 2005-present

* Adjunct Lecturer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 2004-2005

Teaching Experience (High School)

* Teacher, Wall Lake View Auburn Schools, Lake View, IA, 1996-1999: Taught Spanish levels one through four. Developed curriculum for my subject, served on faculty committee, assisted in the athletic department, including serving as assistant wrestling coach, and volunteer freshman football coach.

* Teacher, Waubay Schools, Waubay, SD, 1991-1996: Taught American History, World History, Spanish levels one and two, Civics, Psychology, Sociology, and Government. Developed curriculum and chose texts for the various classes, sponsored a class, served as President of the Waubay Teachers Association, wrote and directed a play for Spanish competition, supervised homecoming setup, assistant and head football coach.


Ph.D. History, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2005

MA History, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2000

BS Social Studies Education, Chadron State College, 1991

BA History/Criminal Justice, Chadron State College, 1985

Teaching Interests: 

American Rising

The American Century

Baseball in America

Football in American Culture

Sport and Society

The World War (1914-1945)

Digital History

East Asia 

Popular Culture in American History

History of Technology

Research Interests: 

Current project: History of women playing football

Football History around the world

The use of sport to teach the Social Studies

Selected Publications: 


Le Football: The History of American Football in France  The University of Nebraska Press August 2016

The Use of Sports to Promote the American Way of Life During the Cold War: Cultural Propaganda, 1946-1963, Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, June 2008


“Football’s History and Reach” in Studies in Football, Culture, and Power edited by David Leonard, Kimberley George, and Wade Davis To be published by Routledge in 2016

“American Sports Since 1960” in the Blackwell Companion to American Sport History edited by Steven Reiss published by Blackwell Publishing June 2014

America Plays: Sports in Colonial Times,” in American History through American Sports: From Colonial Lacrosse to Extreme Sports edited by Danielle Coombs and Bob Batchelor Published by ABC Clio Praeger December 2012

“Lyrical History: There is More to Music than Making the People Dance?” in Do You Believe in rock and Roll?: Essays on Don McLean’s “American Pie” edited by Ray Schuck and Ray I Schuck published by McFarland – September 2012

"The Nationalist Pastime: The Use of Baseball to Promote Nationalism Globally” in The Contested Diamond: An Anthology on Baseball and Politics, June 2010

Blog Articles and Reviews:

"Sport History Rewind: Review of Women's Sports," review published on the Sport in American History blog August 20, 2016

“The Sun of Austerlitz Shone for the Molosses” article published on the Sport in American History blog July 21, 2016

“Frank Merriwell and the Fiction of All-American Boyhood,” review published on the Sport in American History blog July 2, 2016

“Have Football, Will Travel: Jacques Dussault in Canada, the U.S., and France,” article published on the Sport in American History blog May 23, 2016

“Hoop Crazy: The Lives of Clair Bee and Chip Hilton,” review published on the Sport in American History blog April 10, 2016

Book Reviews and Encyclopedia Entries:

Pitching to the Pennant: The 1954 Cleveland Indians, edited by Joseph Wancho for Middle West Review June 2014

The Rise of American High School Sports and the Search for Order, 1880-1920 by Robert Pruter for the Kentucky Historical Society January 2014

Rooting for the Home Team edited by Daniel Nathan for Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, October 2013

The Rise of Gridiron University: Higher Education’s Uneasy Alliance with Big-Time Football by Brian Ingrassia for The Great Plains Quarterly, July 2013

Pay for Play: A History of Big Time College Athletic Reform by Ronald Smith for the International Journal of the History of Sport January 2012

College Football and American Culture in the Cold War Era, book review for The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society Spring Edition 2010

“Chip Hilton,” encyclopedia entry for Boy Culture an Encyclopedia March 2008

American Cinema of the 1940s: Themes and Variations. Wheeler Winston Dixon, ed. Book Review for the Journal of Popular Culture. November 2007

“Postwar Sports” to 1970 and “Saloons,” to Encyclopedia of North American Sport 2007

David K. Wiggins, Out of the Shadows: A Biographical History of African Americans review for Sport in History, 2007

“Where Go Big Red Takes on a Different Meaning” newspaper article about Cuba trip published in the North Platte Telegraph January 2007

Berkshire Encyclopedia of Extreme Sport contributed two entries on “Media and Extreme Sports,” and “The X Games” July 2006

Harry Ellard, Base Ball in Cincinnati, reviewed for the Ohio Valley History Journal, Published January 2006

Taylor Bell, Sweet Charlie, Dike, Cassie and Bobby Joe : High School Basketball in Illinois review for Sport in History, 2005

The Encyclopedia of New England Culture Contributed four entries on the history of volleyball, racquetball, wiffle ball and soccer 2005

Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport: contributed six entries on: “The New York Yankees,” “The World Series,” “Sports Movies,” “ESPN,” “Gymnastics,” and “Sports Fans” 2005