COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — A first-team all-OVC selection at offensive guard who helped bulldoze the way for Tennessee Tech’s ball carriers on the way to numerous school and league records and the 1972 Ohio Valley Conference championship, Howard Cochran will soon be enshrined in the TTU Sports Hall of Fame for his endeavors on the football field.
Cochran is one of five former Golden Eagle student-athletes who will be inducted as the Class of 2014 at the annual Hall of Fame Dinner, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 7, in the Multipurpose Room of the Roaden University Center. The induction dinner is part of Homecoming festivities. Tickets for the dinner, or the Saturday afternoon game against Southeast Missouri, can be purchased through the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940.
A four-year letterwinner (1969-72) on the Golden Eagle gridiron, Cochran was a member of the 1972 Ohio Valley Conference championship team under head coach Don Wade. The Golden Eagles went 10-2 that season and a perfect 7-0 in conference play, capping off the year with an appearance in the Grantland Rice Bowl versus Louisiana Tech.
Cochran stood 6-foot-5 and weighed in at 245 as a senior (that was pretty big in 1972), and headed into the season as a veteran lineman and starter at guard. Affectionately known as “Red Bone,” Cochran opened his career as a guard and played some as a freshman. He moved to the defensive line as a sophomore, a role that lasted half a season before the coaches moved him back to the offensive line where he started the remainder of his career. He helped push the team toward numerous offensive records in ‘72, including most rushing attempts in a single game (83 vs. Morningside). It also broke an OVC record that Cochran helped set in 1971 (71 rushes vs. Youngstown) and 1969 (71 rushes vs. Austin Peay).
The team also broke the OVC record for most rushes in a season (773, shattering the previous record of 534 set by Morehead State and breaking a previous school record that Cochran helped to set, 609 rushes in 1971) and logged second-most rushing yards in TTU history in a single season (2,593).
Against Morningside, the team also set the record for most plays in a single game in school history with 94. At that time, it claimed the No. 1 spot in the TTU record book as well as the Ohio Valley Conference record book.
The Golden Eagles also set the following school records in 1972: most first downs in a single season with 144 (record still stands today), most field goals in a single game (3 vs. Western Kentucky), most first downs rushing (23 vs. Morningside). For his efforts on the ’72 championship team, Cochran was one of nine Golden Eagles named first-team all-OVC.
At the guard position as a true freshman, Cochran blocked for one of the most productive running backs in school history during Larry Schreiber’s final season in 1969. That year, Schreiber put up a team-high 1,522 yards of total offense and 1,901 all-purpose yards. Schreiber also led the team in scoring with 78 points, lining up behind Cochran.
Over the course of his career, the Golden Eagles amassed a 27-15 record, 18-10 record in the OVC.
In 1973, Cochran was signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles, and also spent one training camp with the Jacksonville Sharks of the WFL. Cochran earned his undergraduate degree in education from Tennessee Tech. He recently retired after a lengthy career teaching and coaching on the high school level