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Biographies - Woody Hayes
Woody Hayes
Image Source: Woody Hayes @ Wikipedia
Woody Hayes
Born: February 14, 1913
Died: March 12, 1987
College football coach who is best remembered for his 28-year tenure at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, from 1951-1978.


Links: Ohio State History: Woody Hayes
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Quotes:"A man is always better than he thinks"
Born in Clifton, Ohio, Hayes played center on his Newcomerstown, Ohio, high school football team and tackle at Denison University, under coach Tom Rogers. He majored in English and history during his undergraduate days and was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

After graduating from Denison in 1935, Hayes went on to serve as an assistant at two Ohio high schools: Mingo Junction in 1935-36 and New Philadelphia in 1937. When New Philadelphia head coach John Brickels left to accept another position, Hayes was elevated to the head coaching position, where he put together a 17-2-1 record in his first two seasons before enduring a 1-9 record in 1940.

Hayes enlisted in the United States Navy in July 1941, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during World War II. He commanded the PC 1251 in the Palau Islands invasion and the destroyer-escort Rinehart in both the Atlantic and Pacific operations.

In 1942, he married Anne Gross. The couple had one son, Steven, who went on to become a lawyer and judge.

As World War II was winding down and Hayes alma mater, Denison University, was pursuing plans to reinstate its football program (which had been suspended during the war), it contacted former head coach Rogers (also in the Navy) about rejoining the program as head coach. Rogers declined but recommended that his former team captain, Hayes, be named the next head coach. Denison was able to locate and cable Hayes an offer (which he accepted) minutes before his Navy ship was to begin the passage through the Panama Canal — meaning Hayes would have been unreachable for an extended period of time.

Upon returning to Denison in 1946, Hayes struggled during his first year, winning only the season finale. However, that victory sparked a 19-game winning streak, a surge that propelled him into the head coaching position at Miami University. This institution has now been long considered the \"Cradle of Coaches,\" in recognition of its knack for developing outstanding coaches such as Paul Brown, Ara Parseghian, Weeb Ewbank, Sid Gillman, Randy Walker, and Bo Schembechler. In his two years with the Redskins, Hayes became part of this select group by leading the 1950 squad to an appearance in the Salad Bowl, where they defeated Arizona State University. That success led him to accept the Ohio State head coaching position on February 18, 1951.

As head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Hayes led his teams to a 205-61-10 record (.761), winning three national championships] (1954, 1957, and 1968), 13 Big Ten conference championships and four of the teams eight Rose Bowl appearances. He is the only coach to send a team to four consecutive Rose Bowl games. Hayes considered the \"greatest victory\" of his career the 42-21 win over USC during the 1974 Rose Bowl. Twice winning the Paul \"Bear\" Bryant Award, Hayes was \"the subject of more varied and colorful anecdotal material than any other coach past or present, including fabled Knute Rockne,\" according to biographer Jerry Brondfield.

Hayes basic coaching philosophy was that \"nobody could win football games unless they regarded the game positively and would agree to pay the price that success demands of a team.\" His conservative style of football (especially on offense) was often described as \"three yards and a cloud of dust\"; in other words, a \"crunching, frontal assault of muscle against muscle, bone upon bone, will against will.\"

Despite this seeming willingness to avoid change, Hayes became one of the first major college head coaches to recruit African-American players and hire African-American assistant coaches. One of those players, Archie Griffin, was one of four Heisman Trophy winners to have played under Hayes and remains the only two-time winner in seven decades of selections. With four Heisman Trophy winners, Hayes is tied for the most with Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy. Heisman winners included Archie Griffin, Vic Janowicz, and Howard \"Hopalong\" Cassady. In addition, Hayes saw 58 players earn All-America accolades under his tutelage, while many notable football coaches, such as Lou Holtz, Bill Arnsparger, Bill Mallory, Bo Schembechler and Woodys successor, Earle Bruce, served as his assistants.

Hayes would often use illustrations from historical events to make a point in his coaching and teaching. When Hayes was first hired to be the head coach at OSU, he was also made a \"full professor of physical education,\" having earned an M.A. degree in educational administration from Ohio State in 1948. The classes that he taught on campus were usually full, and he was called \"Professor Hayes\" by students.

During his time at Ohio State, Hayes relationships with faculty members were particularly good. Even those members of the faculty who believed that the role of intercollegiate athletics was growing out of control respected Hayes personally for his commitment to academics, the standards of integrity with which he ran his program, and the genuine enthusiasm he brought to his hobby as an amateur historian. Hayes often ate lunch or dinner at the universitys faculty club, interacting with professors and administrators.

As a coach and an educator, Hayes was one of the first to use the motion picture as a teaching and learning tool. He was also memorable as a professor that could be seen walking across campus, taking the time to visit with students. When talking to young people, Hayes treated all of them equally and with respect, without regard to race or economic class. His enthusiasm for coaching and winning was such that many across the nation consider the following maxim to be true: \"What Vince Lombardi was to professional football, Woody Hayes was to college football.\"

Hayes volatile temper was often on display during key games, an emotional flaw which often overshadowed his coaching ability. One acquaintance said of Hayes, \"Woodys idea of sublimating is to hit someone.\" In 1956, Hayes attacked a television cameraman following a defeat to the University of Iowa, which was followed three years later by an incident in which he took a swing at Los Angeles Examiner sportswriter Al Bine, but missed and instead struck the brother of Pasadena Independent sports editor Bob Shafer. The scuffle followed a 17-0 loss to the University of Southern California.

Another loss to Iowa in the 1960s resulted in Hayes cutting his face with the large ring on his left hand. His rage with that team stemmed from his feud with Hawkeyes head coach and athletic director, Forest Evashevski. In a May 1965 meeting of Big Ten Conference athletic directors and coaches, Hayes nearly started a fight with Evashevski.

In two instances against archrival Michigan, his fury also got the best of him: in 1971, he ran onto the field and confronted referee Jerry Markbreit and tore up sideline markers, receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Hayes was furious over what he thought was a missed defensive pass interference call committed by Thom Darden of Michigan. Six years later, a late fumble caused him to charge an ABC television cameraman who recorded his frustration. The latter incident resulted in Hayes being put on probation by the Big Ten Conference.

In between those incidents, Hayes ejection from two separate Rose Bowl appearances also created headlines. Prior to the 1973 contest, Hayes pushed a camera into the face of a news photographer, screaming, \"Thatll take care of you, you son of a bitch.\" Three years later, after UCLA had stunned the Buckeyes and cost them a national championship, Hayes refused to let anyone speak to the media following the game.

Hayes temper eventually brought an end to his career. On December 29, 1978, in the teams Gator Bowl contest against the Clemson Tigers, Hayes assaulted Clemson middle guard Charlie Bauman with a punch in the throat after Bauman intercepted a pass in the closing seconds of the game. ESPN later named this the most unsportsmanlike behavior of all time. (See Video) Just hours after returning to Columbus, Hayes was informed of his dismissal. After the incident, Hayes reflected on his career by saying, \"Nobody despises to lose more than I do. That\'s got me into trouble over the years, but it also made a man of mediocre ability into a pretty good coach.\"

Hayes lifetime record of 238-72-10 places him sixth in all-time NCAA Division I-A coaching victories. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

At Hayes funeral on March 17, 1987, former President Richard Nixon delivered the eulogy before a crowd of 1,400 acknowledging the friendship that had begun during his second term as Vice President. Having met Hayes at a reception following a Buckeye win over Iowa in 1957, Nixon recalled, \"I wanted to talk about football and Woody wanted to talk about foreign policy. And you know Woody. We talked about foreign policy.\" The following day, more than 15,000 people took part in a memorial service at Ohio Stadium.

Hayes commitment to academics at Ohio State was evidenced by his request that donations from his family, friends and supporters be made to the academic side of the university. Following his death and in keeping with his wishes, the Wayne Woodrow Hayes Chair in National Security Studies was established at Ohio States Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Professor John Mueller currently holds the chair. In November 1987, the university dedicated the new Woody Hayes Athletic Center in his memory.

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