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Wayne Woodrow Hayes

Biographical Sketch:
  • Born February 14, 1913, in Clifton, Ohio
  • Graduated from Denison in 1935; majored in history, minored in PE
  • assistant coach to John Murh at Mingo Junction High School, 1935-1936
  • assistant coach to John Brickels at New Philadelphia High School, 1937
  • became head coach at New Philadelphia High School, 1938
  • enlisted in Navy, July 1941
  • Lieutenant commander of PC 1251, escort to destroyer Rhinehart
  • discharged in 1946
  • had wife Anne and son Steve
  • head coach at Denison, 1946-1948
  • head coach at Miami, 1949-1950
  • became head coach at Ohio State, February 18, 1951
  • won five "officially" recognized National Championships, coached 3 Heisman trophy winners, and went 16-11-1 against Michigan at Ohio State
  • fired as head coach, December 30, 1978
  • died March 12, 1987, in Upper Arlington, Ohio

Coach Hayes roams the sidelines

Woody on Ohio State:
  • "I came to Ohio State primarily for opportunity, not security."
  • "I wanted this job badly.  It's the gretest opportunity in the country."
  • "I didn't come to Ohio State to stay for a short time."
  • "We have more than 85,000 seats in our stadium and every one of them is filled every game.  People from all over the state, no matter what their politics or religion or color, they love and rally round the Buckeyes."
  • "I feel sometimes that the man upstairs sort of likes us.  Maybe He was testing us, saying, 'Let's see what kind of people are at Ohio State.  Do they take defeat lightly?  Can they come back from adversity?'"
  • "Our kind of families win a few more football games than others."
  • "We make no apologies for winning or for aiming our entire program toward that goal."
  • "You're from Ohio and you belong at Ohio State."--to Champ Henson
  • "If we worked half as hard as our band, we'd be champions."
  • "Who is the greatest track man in history?  Why, it's Jesse Owens!  He won so many gold medals that Hitler left the stadium in Berlin because he didn't want to recognize that this great athlete from Ohio State was superior.  And who is the greatest college football player?  Why, it's Arch.  Nobody else in the history of football has ever won two Heisman trophies.  And who is the greatest golfer of all time?  Why, it's Jack Nicklaus.  Nobody can touch him.  He's the best.  And who is the greatest in basketball?  Why, it's John Havlicek.  He's Mr. Basketball."
  • "Now that's enough of that!  To hell with Notre Dame.  Let's talk about OUR OWN university."--to Paul Hornung and a professor discussing ND football
  • "Our recruting definitely suffered because of the 1961 Rose Bowl turndown."
  • "Unbiased, hell. We're Ohio State guys and don't you ever forget it."--to a broadcast partner who praised a Michigan play
  • "Great. I'm excited. Now here's a list of kids I need you to call and get them to come to The Ohio State University."--to Rex Kern after he verbally commited
  • "Some people accuse me of buying football players at Ohio State.  Hell, I don't buy football players.  I sell 'em!"
  • "No, [goshdarnit], you bastards are going to have to fire me."--to AD Hugh Hindman and President Harold Enarson after the Gator Bowl
  • "As hard as I worked to keep this program up as long as I did, I don't want to see anything happen to it now.  Sure, I'm going to give Earle all the help I can, if he wants it."
  • "If I don't bring you a championship, then this is no place for Woody Hayes."--after the 1959 season
  • "You will win on Saturday.  You will have to do what we have planned to do all week, but essentially you will win because you are Ohio State and they will respect you for that.  They know what we do and they will respect you, and I'll tell you something else!  That respect soon turns to fear, and by the time we've hit them three or four times in that first quarter they know they can't win."

Woody's older brother Isaac "Ike" Hayes as a high school football player

Woody on football:
  • "Perfect preparation prevents piss-poor performance."
  • "We had a secret agreement among ourselves that anyone who mentioned roses would get a punch in the nose--unless it was a lady over eighty."--on the 1954 season
  • "You're overofficiating the offense and letting the defense get away with murder.  The Bible says turn the other cheek, but I'll be damned if I'll tell my kids to do that when they'll just get it fractured."--to officials in a 1960 game
  • "You don't get hurt when you run straight ahead."
  • "Sherman ran an option play right through the south."
  • "Because I couldn't go for three."--when asked why he went for two in the 1968 Michigan game with a 30+ point lead
  • "Parlyze their resistence with your persistence."--on recruiting
  • "Somebody asked me the other day what all these so-called critics wanted and I said, 'I know what they want.  They want to destroy college football.'  Well, dammit all, they're not going to destroy a very wonderful American institution."
  • "There are three things that can happen when you pass, and two of them aren't good."
  • "I will pound you and pound you until you quit."
  • "The important thing is not always to win.  The important thing is always to hope."
  • "Balanced offense?  That's a bunch of unadulterated [bullcrap]."--when asked if he was going to start passing more in 1977
  • "Hell, yes.  We're gonna pass 'em right off the field."--sarcastically when asked whether he would take advantage of Michigan's pass defense in 1973
  • "The only fun about being here is winning the game."--on the 1974 Rose Bowl
  • "Winning takes care of everything."
  • "There will be no practice on Friday.  By that time, the hay is in the barn."
  • "To heck with the most exciting game.  I'd rather have them drab as heck and win."
  • "Football polls are a joke."
  • "What do you mean upset?  It's never an upset if the so-called underdog has all along considered itself the better team."--on "upsetting" #1 Purdue in 1968
  • "They think they kicked our [butt] out on the football field.  They're only across the hall.  Let's go over there and kick their [butts].--after infamous 1974 "loss" to Michigan State
  • "Wayne, don't you [f] me!  Don't you [f] me!"--to B10 commishoner Wayne Duke in locker room after game
  • "[F 'em].  Run 'em over."--on Michigan State fans blocking the bus after the game
  • "Pride is a great asset.  No real football player should be without it."
  • "We allot four seats to each faculty member, and that's too damned many."
  • "A bunch of crooks."--describing referees from the 1971 Michigan game
  • "After seeing the pictures, I would have been ashamed of myself if I had not registered a protest."--on his antics during aforementioned game
  • "A football team improves more between the first and second games, than any other time of the season."
  • "Defeats are the things that make men out of you."
  • "The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win."
  • "Whoever wins the second half wins the game."
  • "You can't win the national championship if you don't win your own schedule."
  • "You didn't think our kids were going to let this slip away from them now, did you?"--after the 1969 Rose Bowl
  • "When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He writes--not that you won or lost--but how you played the game."--Grantland Rice   "Rubbish."--Woody Hayes
  • "I wanted that undefeated season more than anything I ever wanted in my life.  I'd give anything--my house, my bank account, anything but my wife and family--to get it."--on his quest for a 6th "official" national championship
  • "Son, women give brith to babies every day of the year, but we will only once play this game against SMU."--in 1968 to DE Mike Radtke, whose wife had just had twins              
  • "I used to say that three things can happen on a forward pass, two of them bad.  I don't say that anymore, because I found out four things can happen on a forward pass.  The fourth thing is, you can get fired."
  • "Success--it's what you do with what you've got."
  • "I try to get six to seven hours sleep at night, and try not to miss any meals.  What time is left goes to football."
  • "Who got us here?  Who played the game?  Our football players!  They come first."
  • "As Admiral Nimitz said, if you're going to fight in the North Atlantic, you have to train in the North Atlantic."--on holding practices in the elements
  • "All you need is good ones.  Get 'em and keep 'em."--on recruits
  • "Passing must be complementary to the running game and must show at least 50 percent consistency and a low interception rate."
  • "The name of the game is running."
  • "The thing you have to do is go back each year and review what actually wins for you.  You'll find it's the discipline on your squad and your morale and how you handle your players and how well you bring them along.  Those are the things on which you win, rather than all the technical ideas that all of us have."
  • "There are two things I know about motivation.  I've read a lot of books on it.  If you want to motivate a person, give him personal attention; secondly, show him improvement.  When he sees that, he's going to stick with it."
  • "I don't motivate the players.  I get them to motivate themselves.  That's the only kind of motivation that's worth a damn."
  • "Strategy is the plan you have before the game and tactics are the changes you make in strategy during the game."
  • "They'll be bothering you all the time.  Be damned careful what you say.  Not a one of them wants you to win.  But I don't expect you to carry a chip on your shoulder like I do."--to his team before a Rose Bowl, on the West Coast media
  • "I never knew of a newspaper man winning a game for us yet."
  • "But when you see officials decide a ballgame, I'm bitter.  So I went out there to let them know I was bitter.  That's why I don't like officials."
  • "We MUST come to it.  As it stands now, a coach has no recourse."--on his plan for instant replay in which a team would be penalized 5 yards for an incorrect challenge and 15 yards for a second
  • "There is just one little catch to all this ballyhoo: they ain't gonna throw it if they don't have it."--on preparing for SMU, 1968
  • "I've got more important things to do then sit around and answer charges that are ridiculous."--when questioned about untrue recruiting allegations in 1976
  • "A good football player finds out that he gets knocked down dozens of times.  But he gets up, and the first thing he knows he's knocking other people down.  The great thing about football is that when you get knocked down, you get up and go again.  You don't lie there and moan and groan and rail against the fates."
  • "The only smarts I have are that I'm smart enough to know I can outwork 'em.  If I can work a little harder, and we can be a little better prepared than the other guy, then we'll make luck come our way.  Darrell Royal says that luck is when preparation meets opportunity, and he's about right.  If you get kids to believe that, you've really got something going."
  • "Football is so complicated today that the quarterback has to have a maximum of memtal freedom and looseness just to see that the formations are right when the team comes out of the huddle, and to handle the split-second ball-handling and faking that goes on.  We relieve him of the extra pressure of play-calling for a lot of reasons."
  • "It's an even better running down."--on second and short
  • "It's only right that I do so.  It's not that I'm paying these kids to play football.  I'm just helping out occasionally in private and individual cases on their merits. I see nothing wrong with it."--on the 1956 "scandal"
  • Defensive goals: "1. give up 7 points or less 2. score or set up two scores inside their 40-yard line 3. get 4 turnovers on any combination of fumbles recovered and/or interceptions 4. no touchdown passes against us 5. hold them to less than 250 yards of total offense 6. no enemy play--run or pass--for more than 20 yards 7. do not give up more than three consecutive first downs 8. destroy 25 percent of their passes 9. hold foe to 40 percent of passes per game 10. no penalties for us 11. we field all punts properly 12. we average 10 yards on punt returns 13. we keep all kickoff returns inside their 30 yard line."
  • "I believe you are only as good as you have to be."
  • "It is hard to play dirty against a man who picks you up."
  • "Every coach thinks at the beginning of the season that he can go all the way, even if he doesn't say it. But you need luck. I can look back and say 'gee' if this had happened or that had happened, we'd have been beaten here or there. But you better expect to win them all or you'd better get out of coaching."--on the 1954 season
  • "The best lead by example. Our captains have all been the rather quiet type-—not the 'holler guy' nor the 'personality boy'. Just good, sound men. We ask these captains to carry water on both shoulders, for not only are they responsible to the squad's welfare, but they are also responsible to the head coach."
  • "Never forget, the whole pleasure is in winning, for winning is the epitome of the group effort."
  • "Fumbles have to be psychological."
  • "Not everybody can be first team, but you can always put the team first."
  • "You never dare take a team lightly."
  • "The kids are kids.  They'll do what you make them do."
  • "You are going down to the Lombardi award thing in Houston, but don't get too excited.  They won't give it to no Yankee bastard."--to Jim Stillwagon
  • "If those SOBs want to fight the Civil War all over again, we'll certainly do it."--pregame speech, 1978 Gator Bowl[vs Clemson]
  • "If you show me a good guy that the players love all the time, I will show you a loser."
  • "Which President?"--When told the President was on the phone after the 1970 Michigan game.  When told it was President Nixon, he said "Tell him he's going to have to wait--I am talking to my team right now."
  • "The only meaningful statistic is number of games won."


Woody on life/society:
  • "Football is about the only unifying force left in America today.  It is certainly one of the few places in our society where teamwork, mental discipline, and the value of hard work still mean anything. We stick to the old-fashioned virtues, and if the rest of the country had stuck to them, it would have been a different story in Vietnam."
  • "I see my job as a part of American civilization and a damn important part.  I see football as being just so much above everything else."
  • "We're tearing down all of our heroes in America."
  • "This game of football used to be pretty important to me. It isn't anymore.  Now it's damn near everything.  It represents and embodies everything thats great about this country, because the United States is built on winners, not losers or people who don't bother to play."
  • "Without winners, there wouldn't be any civilization."
  • "When I want to read about the bad things I look at the front page.  When I want to read about the good things I turn to the sports page and Paul Hornung."
  • "You can never pay back, but you can always pay forward."
  • "They've gotten so [goshdarned] liberal up there at Oberlin they don't even give a [crap] about sports anymore. I hear they're even letting women in their sports program now.  That's your Women's Liberation, boy--bunch of [goshdarned] lesbians."
  • "We control by attitudes not by rule."
  • "These days, post-Vietnam, what worries me is that everyone has decided to live up to his own rules."
  • "Sport and religion made America."
  • "Now math is a good subject.  Either you have the right answer or the wrong answer."
  • "The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium."
  • "I told him there's an old saying about the best way to treat a woman, and that is to knock her up and hide her shoes."--on giving marital advice to a former player
  • "Hey, some girl tells you she's on the pill, don't believe her.  Don't believe her!  Don't believe her!  You better know what they make in Akron."
  • "And you find so many times that person or that team or that nation is totally defeated. Well, they come back. And if you don't believe me, watch out or you'll get run over by a Toyota or a Mercedes."
  • "Loyalty is a two-way street, not a blind alley."
  • "Nothing that comes easy in this world is worth a damn."
  • "There are too many people who can too easily identify with defeat."
  • "Sure marijuana will help 'em graduate.  Graduate to cocaine!"
  • "Isn't that something?  From a Dutch immigrant boy to the President of Harvard in three generations.  You can't beat that.  That's America."--to Harvard president Derrick Bok, whose grandfater was a Dutch immigrant
  • "There's one thing that worries me about our lifestyle and civilization today.  We're too often talking bad about ourselves.  This, as far as I'm concerned, hurts us more than everything else put together."
  • "Make sure you do the thinking with this head[pointing to his head], and not with this head[pointing beneath his belt]."--to his 1974 freshman class
  • "There is a segment of society which is not only against football but against anything that's well organized."
  • "The problem comes from people believing they have too many rights, and the word 'rights' to them means acting like an idiot."
  • "The Russians can't beat us at anything--they can't even feed themselves."


Woody on himself:
  • "Feeling cold is psychological."
  • "Nobody despises to lose more than I do.  That's what got me into trouble over the years, but it also made a man with mediocre ability a pretty good coach."
  • "All my life I've always been and always will be a hero worshiper."
  • "You have no more right to tell me how to coach my team in front of fifteen other writers than I would have to tell you how to write your stories in front of fifteen other coaches."--to writers during Michigan week, 1954
  • "I could beat Jesse Owens in a 100 yard dash if you gave me enough of a head start."
  • "Just remember one thing.  I can do your job, but you can't do mine."--to a professor
  • "I don't like nice people.  I like tough, honest people."
  • "I'm not the Cadillac type."--turning down a free car
  • "If I knew what complacency was, I'd tell you what I was going to do to fight it."--quoting Darryl Royal
  • "I had a Cadillac offered to me a couple of times.  You know how that works.  They give you a Cadillac one year and the next year they give you the gas to get out of town."
  • "Greene countians claimed I was born in Clark County, and Clark countians claimed I was born in Greene county."
  • "Get the hell away from me!  I can do it myself."--to Jim Parker, who tried to help him cross the street
  • "Should I apologize for all the good things that I've done?"--on apologizing for the Bauman incident
  • "When you start living in the past, you're done for."
  • "I'll sweep out the gym if it will help us to win."
  • "I'd rather be coach of the team of the year."--on winning national coach of the year honors in 1975
  • "I'm enthusiastic.  The day I'm not, I'll quit.  It is one's own fault if his enthusiasm is gone; he has failed to feed it."
  • "I believe in overlearning. That way you are sure."
  • "The most valuable gift you can give anyone is your time."
  • "Meet me at the raquetball court in half an hour. If you're not there, it's because you can't take it."--to Schembechler
  • "I know a bunch of you think that I won't make the season.  You think I'll probably have another heart attack and die.  Well, [f] my heart, [f] my heart.  I'd rather die a winner than live being a loser, because when you are a loser, you die a little bit each day...Now let's get dressed and start practicing to win a national championship."--preseason speech to team, 1974
  • "That man could make me feel grown up when he said 'Woodrow,' and that's what he always called me. Here's a man who would sit in front of Denver Reed's smokehouse and talk about pitching, and he pitched for twenty-two years. But he was a humble man. He never made himself look good. Never."--on childhood acquaintance Cy Young
  • "You know, I still didn't know what the hell he was talking about."--after listening to Sid Gillman describe his passing offense for almost a whole day
  • "I did it for my players.  I owed it to them and I would have been derelict in my duty to them if I had done less."--on 1971 Michigan incident
  • "You're not going to get a thing under this table.  I'm not going to promise you anything I can't deliver and I'm not going to deliver anything I can't promise you.  You know darn well that if I'm dishonest with you I'm going to be dishonest with a lot of other kids, and you probably don't want ot play ball for a guy who's going to be all over the place."--to Matt Snell while recruting him
  • "I can't be nice and win.  It's not my way."
  • "But I'm too new around here to be consulted."--on a later-reversed 1978 OSU athletic council decision to only allow a major bowl
  • "Now I want to tell you that people need friends.  I visited an old friend today, Dick Nixon.  Right now, he has no friends.  Nobody wants to be friends with him, but I am still Dick's friend.  Dick can count on Woody.  Woody will be there for Dick Nixon."
  • "You don't have to like me, just respect me."
  • "You know something.  Those 56% probably weren't even living when I started here.  No, I'm not interested.  It's more what I'm going to do, and I'm not going to worry much over that.  Sure, people are fickle, and I don't much care.  There's no one in this league or in any other league that has won as many games as I have.  I'm not going to let their opinion decide this thing.  And if you're one of the 56%, I don't give a damn about you either."--when told in 1978 that a poll found that 56% of Columbus residents thought he should retire


Woody on Michigan:
  • "I read your book, you SOB!"--holding up Bo Schembechler's book after 1970 game
  • "How did our great rivalry get started?  Well, the real fight started back in 1836 when Andrew Jackson, that wily old cuss, took Toldeo away from that state up north and gave it to us."
  • "I didn't like that SOB when he played for me, I didn't like him when we worked for me, and I certainly don't like him now."--on Schembechler
  • "We do not pull in and fill up.  And I'll tell you why we don't.  It's becuase I don't buy one [goshdarn] drop of gas in the state of Michigan.  We'll coast and push this car to the Ohio line before I give this state a nickel of my money."--to assistant coach Ed Ferkany as they were low on gas in Michigan
  • "They're traitors!  They're traitors!"--on Lantern sportswriters who picked OSU to lose to Michigan in 1971
  • "They couldn't beat me with two Michigan coaches.  So they had to come down here and take a coach that I trained.  And they haven't beaten me with him yet."
  • "All right, men, don't eat the salad.  They're trying to poison us."--eating at a motel in Ann Arbor
  • "We don't give a damn for the whole state of Michigan."
  • "Spoiled, hell!  I think the bastards are probably trying to poison us or something!  Cancel the dinner here tonight.  We're making other plans."--when an assistant coach commented that the salad smelled funny while the team ate lunch in Michigan
  • "You're going to Michigan?  Why, you dumb no-good [ ].  You go right ahead!  You go there, and when you play against Ohio State we'll just see whether you gain a yard against us all day.  We'll break you in two."--to a recruit who told him he was going to Michigan
  • "Men, this is war!  I don't care anything about the national championship or the Big Ten championship, but if we win this game today and afterward, if the Good Lord says, 'Woody, it's your time', I'll say, 'Lord, I'm ready!'.  I'll have to take it easy up there--or down there--but I know where I'll go."--before 1975 game

Coach Hayes and Archie Griffin at the 1975 Heisman presentation

Others on Woody:
  • "If it's 30 degrees, Woody will wear one t-shirt.  If it's zero, he'll wear two."--Jim Parker
  • "If the old man told me to move the stadium two yards or three inches, if he said it could be done, I believed it, and I would try."--Jim Parker
  • "Woody would get the team so fired up when they run out of that locker room, and they're all singing that Ohio State battle cry--'Drive, drive on down the field'--you could out there and defeat Napolean's army.  Woody could take a guy with a wooden leg and make him run a 100 yard dash."--Jim Parker
  • "There was somethin about the Michigan game.  Woody could create so much hate between Michigan and Ohio."--Jim Parker
  • "He gave me a thousand reasons why he shouldn't apologize.  I was so highed up after I finished talkin to the man he had me believin he shoulda broke both of the guy's legs."--Jim Parker on talking to Coach Hayes about the Bauman incident
  • "Woody was the original Rush Limbaugh.  There were no ifs, ands, or buts; he was right-wing for God and country.  He was proud to be an American, and he instilled that in his players."--Tim Fox
  • "Michigan games, he'd have guys crying like they just lost their best friend before they went out on the field."--Pete Johnson
  • "Woody Hayes will never be judged on the accomplishments of his football coaching career or his contributions to humanity.  Woody Hayes is a great man, and few people will ever realize how great he is."--Jack Tatum
  • "If I had to go into a battle and I needed someone loyal and courageous to cover my blindside, I know damn well Woody would be my man.  I know, too, that God hasn't created a more generous, compassionate, or more understanding man than Woody Hayes."--Jack Tatum
  • "If you want to hate Woody Hayes, then you must never let yourself hear him make a speech."--anonymous friend
  • "Woody would do anything, literally anything, within leagal means, to help us."--Ric Volley
  • "I still respect the university, but to me, Ohio State was Woody Hayes."--Brian Baschnagel
  • "Next to my father, he was the greatest man I knew."--Ron Gerald
  • "Woody has always been out front of most coaches on racial things."--anonymous black mid-60s DB
  • "In Hayes' view, Ohio boys who enroll at Michigan, especially football players, are either traitors or degenerates, or both.  Sometimes it's hard to tell if he's kidding when he talks about Michigan.  The concensus is that he isn't."--Robert Vare
  • "In Woody's phys ed course on football, he also lectured a lot on history and the military, but I also remember that he once spoke for two days on prostitution and never once said anything that was crude or off-color.  His point was that the easiset thing to do in life is lie down, but he wasn't trying to be funny when he said it."--Dave Koblentz, OSU student
  • "By the way, it's absolutely not true that Woody doesn't understand the forward pass.  I can jam that down the throat of anyone who says it.  I know.  when I was starting out in the coaching buisness many years ago I got a hold of--and never mind how I obtained it--a copy of Woody's playbook when he was coaching Miami of Ohio.  He never knew this, but I plagarized his pass offense and took it all the way to the pros with me when I was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.  If Woody has grown away from the pass it's not because he doesn't believe in its effectiveness but because of the perfection he has brought to his ground game.  Nobody has Woody's pound-hell-outta-them personality and principles, and when you see an attack that so successfully mirrors the man himself, you stop wondering why he doesn't fool around more with the pass."--Jim Trimble
  • "When you play for Woody, you need all the faith you can get."--Cornelius Greene on why he read the Bible so much
  • "No one replaces Woody Hayes."--defensive coordinator George Hill
  • "Woody Hayes is like Elvis in Columbus.  You can't hate the guy.  It's impossible."--Donnie Nickey
  • "Woody studied the whole race issue.  He came to camp in '68 and sat us down and told us we were not going to have any problems.  We're going to play like a team.  We looked at each other a lot differently then.  From that point on, the race issue was devoid on our team.  He put it to rest."--Dave Whitfield
  • "It didn't hurt.  I didn't even feel it."--Charlie Bauman on Woody's punch
  • "You don't describe Woody Hayes in one sentence or one paragraph--or 30 seconds, but chapter after chapter."--Esco Sarkkinen
  • "Some of it was for show, but for the most part it was natural reaction, Woody's personality.  The way they happened, I don't think they could have been rehearsed.  Woody wasn't that much of an actor."--Esco Sarkkinen on Coach Hayes' temper explosions
  • "Woody's the guy who makes it tough on the rest of us, making all those free speeches."--another Big Ten coach
  • "Today a lot of people would love that.  I think he would be much better todya than when I played, by virtue of his organization and discipline.  I think the kids would love him even more.  I find today that people want that kind of discipline and leadership."--John Hicks, on whether Coach Hayes' style would work today
  • "He liked to have you consider him an SOB, and he was disappointed if you didn't."--John Bozick, equipment manager
  • "We had more personal contact with Woody Hayes than with any other faculty member outside of the classroom.  I know of no other faculty member than Coach Hayes who made personal visits to students in their residences in order to inspire their pursuits of academic excellence."--Fred C. Sweeney, OSU student
  • "Man, why wasn't I born four or five years earlier so I could have played for this man."--Pepper Johnson
  • "Woody was really stingy with those leaves."--Rex Kern on Coach Hayes' distribution of Buckeye leaves in 1968
  • "He spoke from the heart.  He told of his seperation from his loved ones during World War II; of stemming the Communist tide; and most importantly, he spoke of how much HE appreciated OUR efforts."--Stephen Stout, soldier visited by Coach Hayes in Vietnam
  • "How are you going to fight a guy who mentions Plato, Khruschev, and Lana Turner in the same sentence?"--LA sportswriter
  • "He was an independent soul and somewhat of a maverick, with definite likes and dislikes. And these traits didn't diminish as he grew older."--college roommate Roger Amos
  • "He was a legend in his own time.  He taught me football, but more importantly, he taught me more about life than anybody else."--Lou Holtz
  • "Woody's family was the football team and Ohio State University."--Rex Kern
  • "Divorce, no.  Murder, yes."--Anne when asked if she'd ever considered divorcing Woody
  • "He knew both sides of the ball, and he could coach both sides of the ball."--defensive coordinator Lou McCullough
  • "To meet Woody Hayes was to know Woody Hayes was to like Woody Hayes."--Bill Willis
  • "The biggest misconception of Woody Hayes-type football is the thinking that he is conservative, won't take calculated risks, and won't pass.  He has used all types of formations and plays and will beat you with the pass about 40 percent of the time.  One year, we won every game but two by passing.  He just uses the pass to supplement the running game as do most consistent winners.  In practice, he spends as much time--if not more--on the passing game."-McCullough
  • "He saw 'em on Saturday night, everyday, in the summer, on the Fourth of July, his birthday..."--McCullough on Coach Hayes' penchant for watching film
  • "Here's what I always told people about Woody Hayes: you were afraid of him as a freshman, you hated him as a sophomore, you liked him as a junior, and you loved him as a senior."--Tom Skladany
  • "He knew I didn't like his football, but he was such a great, caring person.  He brought me back and I'm very, very grateful."--Vic Janowicz
  • "Though his tenure at Ohio State spanned the turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement, the only colors that ever mattered to Hayes were OSU's scarlet and gray; black and white were irrelevant."--Paul Hornung
  • "If I knew I was good enough, I was going to play, and if I wasn't, I wasn't going to play, no matter what color I was.  I respected him for that."--Cornelius Greene
  • "The man is insufferable in victory, indomitable in defeat."--Big 10 commissioner Bill Reed
  • "I'll buy all the sideline markers Woody Hayes wants to tear up.  Ohio State without Hayes would draw at least 30,000 fewer people."--Michigan AD Don Canham
  • "Woody was a very demanding persons.  But he was fair.  He never asked anything of his staff members that he wasn't going through himself."--assistant coach Gene Fekete
  • "God is alive and coaching at OSU."--sign at Ohio Stadium
  • "I'll tell you one thing: he was commited to this university and to the people of Ohio.  He was a real patriot who believed in the United States.  He always said there was a difference between right and wrong."--Randy Gradishar
  • "Woody never brought any of that on.  He was great. He was a legend. I accepted that. Besides, he was always one of my biggest supporters. He'd call me up -- no matter who we were playing -- and say, 'You'd better be practicing for Michigan.'"--Earle Bruce
  • "He's a guy I think about a lot. I hope he thinks of me. I hope he knows what he meant to me."--Earle Bruce
  • "He loved the university and education. He loved Ohio and the United States of America. And he loved football. They were all tied together."--Earle Bruce
  • "Coach Hayes truly epitomized what a head coach should be.  He worked hard.  He was a perfectionist.  He was a true patriot.  He was a true Ohioan."--Paul Warfield
  • "Woody is a God-fearing man.  It's nice to know he's afraid of somebody."--Archie Griffin
  • "Woody is one of the greatest leaders our country has ever produced."--General Lewis Walt, Marine Corps commandant
  • "I miss my father.  He helped me bring out the best in myself.  But he is not gone.  He is still with us."--Steve Hayes

Coach Hayes' first year at OSU, 1951

Coach Hayes' Chamber of Commerce Speech

Coach Hayes' Commencement Speech

President Nixon and Coach Bruce Eulogize Coach Hayes

Woody Hayes Athletic Center and Other Memorials

Coach Hayes Links