Ted Ginn, Sr. has been described as an evangelist and a Pied Piper because he re-wrote the game plan for high school football in Cleveland.
Ted spent his early years in Franklinton, Louisiana, where his grandparents instilled in him rigid Christian values. He moved to Cleveland for his high school years at Glenville, playing center and linebacker on the Tarblooders football team of the 1970s.
After graduating, he returned to Glenville as a volunteer assistant football coach and full-time uniformed security guard. He would patrol the hallways in his blue-gray officer’s uniform during the school day and change into his coaching togs after school.
After 10 years as an unpaid assistant coach, he actually went on the coaching payroll in 1986. He succeeded James Hubbard as head coach in 1997 and before long earned national attention for the Glenville football program.
In 1999 Glenville became the first Cleveland public school to qualify for the state football playoffs and the Tarblooders went on to the playoffs 11 times in 12 years from 1999 to 2010. Glenville was state runnerup in 2009.
Glenville also has won every Senate football championship since Ted took over in 1997 and has not lost a conference game in his century.
More than 50 of his athletes have been awarded full college scholarships, including his son, Ted Jr. at Ohio State and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, also at Ohio State. Several of his players went on play pro football in the NFL.
He also coached the Glenville track team to five straight state championships.
Ted has battled cancer for the last two years and did not coach last year, but he has returned to the sidelines this season.
In 2007 the Cleveland Municipal School District created Ginn Academy in the Collinwood area, an all-boys school with Ted as headmaster.
He always points out that his mission is not to win football games, it is to save lives and souls. He has been honored by numerous like-minded organizations, such as the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, the National Black Coaches Association and the National Fatherhood Initiative.
Ted and his wife, Jeanette, have two children, son Ted Jr. and daughter Tiffany.