The National Resource Center for the African American Male is named for Todd Anthony Bell, late Coordinator for Community Relations in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (formerly the Office of Minority Affairs). Although respected for his second profession as an ambassador for the university and a mentor to many African American male undergraduates, Bell was most widely known for his achievements in competitive sports.
At Middletown High School, he became a high school football All American and a three-time state champion in the long jump, breaking the records set by Jesse Owens. After graduation in 1977, he was recruited by Woody Hayes to play football for The Ohio State University. He was a four year letterman, first and second team All American, and first team UPI and API all-Big Ten player. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1981 and played with the team for seven seasons. During the off season in 1989, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from The Ohio State University. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles until a career-ending injury in 1990.
In 1997 Bell returned to Ohio State to accept a position as Coordinator of the Minority Continuing Education Opportunities Program in the Office of Continuing Education, then lodged in University College. There he worked with Dean Mac Stewart to give leadership to outreach with the central Ohio community. He fostered cooperation with local businesses to provide funding for their employees to start or return to college studies at Ohio State. He also worked with the personnel of local Boys & Girls Clubs to develop joint ventures to improve the environment of the neighborhoods near the central campus. In 2001 he moved to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (formerly the Office of Minority Affairs) where he coordinated a broad range of community-university programs. Notably, on campus he gave initial leadership to the development of the Black Male Initiative and he was part of the team that developed the African American Male Resource Center.
Todd Bell took great joy in working with young people. He was a mild mannered gentleman and a soft-spoken celebrity who always had time to listen to the young people who assembled to hear him talk or came to him individually with personal questions and concerns. He was also a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Highway Safety youth events and toured high schools as a motivational speaker. Active in his church, he taught a Bible study class for middle school students.
In March 2005, Bell had a heart attack and tragically died at age 47. The African American Male Resource Center was renamed to The Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center in his honor.