The Greatest Series: Football Player No. 8

The Greatest Series in IU football today switches to an offensive lineman. He played in the 1940's and is one of IU's inductees into the college football Hall of Fame. Read on to learn more.

Each day, has a new installment in “The Greatest” series that will chronicle some of the top players, teams and performances in Indiana football and basketball history.

The first two top 10 countdowns were basketball topics: the top 10 performances and the top 10 last second shots of all time. In this countdown, we look at the top 10 IU football players of all-time. Pete Pihos was No. 9 yesterday and here is No. 8.


This is the second day in a row that we feature a player of the 1940’s era of Indiana football.

Yesterday it was Pete Pihos, an end/fullback. Today, we feature of the people that blocked for him early in his IU career, John Tavener.

Tavener was named to six All-American teams following his senior season at IU in 1944. An extremely versatile player according to the IU media guide, Tavener called the offensive signals at center, played on defense as well and kicked extra points.

Despite playing on the line, Tavener was IU’s most valuable player in 1943 and ’44.

He is one of Indiana’s five players in history selected to the college football Hall of Fame and the only lineman.

Tavener was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in 1944 and played for the Miami Seahawks in 1946. He retired after that season to pursue a banking career. After retiring, he later became a volunteer assistant coach at Dennison University in Granville, Ohio.

Stay tuned for the No. 7 player tomorrow in’s The Greatest Series in IU history.

No. 10 James Hardy

No. 9 Pete Pihos

No. 8 John Tavener

Follow Terry Hutchens at Top Stories