Ohio State mourns the loss of former Buckeye & NFL safety Mike Sensibaugh

April 5, 2021

All-American safety was part of the famed “Super Sophs” class

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Department of Athletics and football program is mourning the loss of Mike Sensibaugh, a member of Ohio State’s 1968 national championship team, an All-American and three-year letterwinner from 1968-70. Sensibaugh passed away on Wednesday. He was 72 years old.

Sensibaugh was living in Wildwood, Missouri where he owned and operated Sensibaugh Pools. He is survived by three children: a son, Doug, and two daughters, Amy and Cara. He had five grandchildren ranging in ages from 17 to 24 years old. Sensibaugh was also the step-father to Michael and Ben Krause, whose families included seven additional grandchildren. He and his wife, Dana, were married for 29 years at the time of his passing.

Donations to honor Sensibaugh can be made to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, 361 Newbury St., 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02115 or online at concussionfoundation.org.

One of the all-time great safeties in Buckeye history, Sensibaugh was born in Cincinnati and came to Ohio State as part of the famed “Super Sophs” class that led Ohio State to the 1968 national title with a perfect 10-0 record.

With Sensibaugh alongside Jack Tatum on the back end of Ohio State’s defense, the Buckeyes were 27-2 from 1968-70 and won at least a share of Big Ten titles all three seasons. A two-time All-Big Ten selection and an All-American in 1970, he still holds the Ohio State career record for interceptions (22) and single-season interceptions. His 22 career INTs are the eighth most of any player in FBS history.

Sensibaugh became a starter as a sophomore in 1968 and intercepted nine passes, which 53 years later is still the single-season school record (tied with Craig Cassady, who also intercepted nine passes in 1975). One season later, he nearly tied his own record with eight interceptions for an Ohio State defense that allowed just 10.3 points per game.

In addition to holding Ohio State records for interceptions in a single season and a career, Sensibaugh’s name is also atop the list for career interception return yards with 248.

Following his Ohio State career, Sensibaugh was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1971. He played there for five seasons before finishing his career with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1976 to 1978. Sensibaugh had 27 career interceptions in 92 games.

Sensibaugh’s contributions to the Buckeyes weren’t just limited to the defensive side of the ball. A skilled punter, he set a Rose Bowl record with 319 punting yards in the Buckeyes’ win over USC.

In 1997, Sensibaugh was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame and was chosen in early 2000 to Ohio State’s All-Century Team by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. 

Mike Sensibaugh (3) is one of OSU’s all-time greats at that position (courtesy Ohio State Athletics)

COURTESY OHIO STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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