Ted R. Provost (born July 26, 1948 in Navarre, Ohio) is a former star high school, university and professional football player.
As a high school athlete at Fairless High School he lettered three seasons as a quarterback and defensive back. He was also outstanding in basketball and track. He was inducted into the Stark County High School Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
Provost attended the Ohio State University and was a Buckeye from 1967 to 1969. He was key member of the 1968 national championship team as a safety. He was nicknamed "Tree" by legendary coach Woody Hayes after he collected so many of the "leaf" awards that were put on players helmets. The name did not come from his 6 foot 3 inch and 185 pound size. He was twice an All Big Ten all star (1968 and 1969) and was an All-American in 1969. He was inducted into the Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame in 2006.
He was drafted by the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams in the 7th round (162nd overall) of the 1970 NFL Draft but was later traded to the Minnesota Vikings. He played 7 games with Minnesota in 1970 and 2 games with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971.
Provost continued as a professional with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, playing five seasons from 1972 to 1977. He was twice named an All-West Division all-star.
Provost, however, is best remembered for a play in the 64th Grey Cup in 1976. He was the victim of one of the most memorable plays in Grey Cup history. The Ottawa Rough Riders were losing with 20 seconds left on the clock when Ottawa quarterback Tom Clements threw to Tony Gabriel in the end zone. Gabriel faked a post pattern and Provost fell for it, cutting in when the receiver went out. Gabriel hauled in the last seconds pass for a thrilling come from behind victory, at Provost's expense. CFL fans recall this finish as one of the greatest.
Provost, remembered as being quiet, reserved and conservative, will not do interviews on this play.
Ted Provost was successful after his football career, owner of Ted Provost Builders, a construction company in Hilliard, Ohio. He and his wife 2nd wife Ruth have three children, Michael, Douglas, and Molly.
On September 24, 2010 Mr. Provost was inducted into the Fairless High School Hall of Honor.