All Inductees

Buddy Groff

Buddy Groff was born March 25, 1925. He was raised on a ranch and attended school in a small community called Upper Quihi. He graduated from Hondo High School in 1943. Buddy was an all-around athlete, graduating with honors in football and baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals offered him the opportunity to try out, but he preferred roping.

Buddy started his roping career at the age of 14 by competing in jackpot ropings in his area, where the entry fees ran from 25 cents to $1.00 per calf. Buddy was 16 when his father passed away. Then World Warr II broke out, and his older brother entered the service. As soon as he graduated, Buddy returned to the ranch to help his mother. After the war, his brother came back to the ranch, and Buddy was able to resume roping.

The first rodeo he competed in was at Uvalde in 1945, where he won the roping making him eligible to join the Rodeo Cowboys Association. His next big rodeos were at St. Louis and Chicago and he won at St. Louis. In 1946 Buddy moved to Bandera and traveled with Ray Wharton.

Buddy won shows such as Houston, Cheyenne, Madison Square Garden, Boston, St. Paul, Burwell, Nebraska, Sidney, Iowa, Nampa, Caldwell and Boise, Idaho, Spokane, Washington, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Rapid City, South Dakota, Salt Lake City and Ogdon, Utah, and many others.

Buddy won many match ropings against such greats as Toots Mansfield, Dean Oliver, Tom Nesmith, Glenn Franklin, Jim Bob Altizer, Ray Wharton and he tied Don McLaughlin in a match.

He retired in 1959 but decided to compete in three more rodeos in 1960. He won the last one entered at Belton, Texas on July 4 in 1960.

Buddy is in the cattle business now and lives and ranches in Hondo. He and his wife, Bonnie were married in 1948 and have a 24-year-old son, Mike. Their daughter, Nancy was killed in 1970 in an accident when she was 20 on her way home from college.