2023 Award Recipient - Will Wolford ’82
The Outstanding Alumnus Award was established by the Saint Xavier Alumni Association in 1967. Its purpose is to honor annually a graduate (or graduates) who, on a regional, national, or international level, through achievements in his profession or work, has made a significant contribution to the betterment of his fellow man and, in doing so, has brought credit to himself, to his associates and to Saint Xavier High School.
Will Wolford ’82
Will Wolford is a 1982 graduate of Saint Xavier High School where he lettered four years in football and basketball, as well as three years in track and field. Will was First Team All-State in football and Honorable Mention All-State in basketball his senior year. He earned an athletic scholarship to Vanderbilt University where he was First Team All SEC and Third Team All-American. Vanderbilt inducted him into its Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
In 1986, Will was a first-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills. During his 13-year NFL career, he played seven years with the Buffalo Bills, three with the Indianapolis Colts, and three with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Will started in three Super Bowls, three Pro Bowls, was named to The All-Madden Team, and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1995. From 2002–2008, Will and Bob Valvano were co-hosts of “The Bob and Will Show” which was broadcast locally on the radio. He served as a color analyst for the Indianapolis Colts Radio Network from 2007 until 2013.
Will’s service at St. X began in 2000 when he joined the school’s Board of Directors. In 2006, he co-chaired the Project X Campaign with fellow board member Ron Carmicle. Together they led, at the time, the school’s largest comprehensive campaign raising $29.1 million for scholarships, athletic facilities, and campus renovations. Will completed his board service in 2009 and celebrated the campaign’s completion in 2010. Having such passion for the school, Will again stepped forward and, in 2013, he became the St. X football program’s 17th head coach. He held that role for five years and saw one of his many elite players, Des Ridder, join the Atlanta Falcons in 2022.
Will’s commitment to service extends beyond his alma mater. His involvement as a leader at Holy Trinity Catholic Church began in 1999 and included coaching various sports teams from 2000–2005. Will currently sits on the boards of the Louisville Metro Police Foundation and Kids Cancer Alliance. Will has also served as a leader at Boy Scouts of America’s Lincoln Heritage Council and The Family Place.
For the last 14 years, Will has spent his second career working in the financial industry with St. X classmate Tom Perrone at Smith Barney, now known as Morgan Stanley. His wife, Mary Jude (Craven) Wolford is a career lawyer who was elected November 8, 2022, to the 15th Division District Court Judge in Jefferson County. The couple married in 1988 and has three adult daughters: Grace, married to Robby Boyle (St. X Class of 2003), Lauren, married to Tommy Tappel (Cincinnati St. X alumnus), and Bridget.