Dr. John Buxton Todd was a four-sport star at both Newport News High School and the College of William and Mary. He was football captain of the 1920 Newport News team that became the school's first to win the state championship and of his team at William and Mary.
But his legacy includes more than winning records. When his playing and refereeing days were behind him, Dr. Todd, a dentist, invented the precursor of the protective mouthpiece football players use today.
John B. Todd played basketball, was an infielder who went on to play semipro baseball, and was a shot-putter on the track team. Yet, football would be his forte. His William and Mary squads went 6-3 in 1922, 6-3 in 1923 and 6-2-1 in 1924. He graduated college in 1925.
After his college football career, Todd became a football official and refereed games for Notre Dame, in the Southern Conference and for the forerunner of the Washington Redskins. He also called the Cotton Bowl and the 1950 Orange Bowl.
At the Medical College of Virginia, Todd was a salutatorian of his dental class. As a dentist, he did more than his share of charitable work on the Peninsula, providing dental work to those who couldn't afford it.
Dr. Todd died of cancer at age 62 in 1965. Todd Stadium, built in 1966 and opened for the 1967 football season, was named in honor of him.