Woody Hayes

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  • December 14, 2023
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Wayne Woodrow “Woody” Hayes served 28 years as head football coach at The Ohio State University. Only Amos Alonzo Stagg, 41 years at Chicago, and Bob Zuppke, at Illinois for 29 years, coached longer in the Big Ten.

Under Hayes, Ohio State was a remarkable 205 wins, 61 losses and 10 ties, a winning percentage of .760. His Big Ten record was 152-37-7. While he coached at Ohio State, the Buckeyes led the nation in attendance per home game twenty-one times in twenty-eight and finished a close second the other seven seasons.

Numerous honors were won by Coach Hayes and by his Ohio State teams. He was names “College Coach of the Year” in 1957 and 1975, and was runnerup for this honor on two occasions. He coached three Heisman Award winners and 56 first team All-Americans. He is a past president of the National Football Coaches’ Association.

His Ohio State teams won three national championships; 13 big Ten championships; won a record 17 straight Big Ten victories two different times (1954-’56 and 1967-’69); and played in 11 bowl games, eight Rose Bowls, one Orange Bowl, one Sugar Bowl and one Gator Bowl. Ohio State is the only eastern team in the history of the Rose Bowl to make four consecutive appearances.

Hayes was born on February 14, 1913, in Clifton, Ohio, although he calls Newcomerstown his home. He is a 1935 graduate of Denison University, where he majored in English and history. He played tackle three years and was n outfielder in baseball. He has an A.M. degree from Ohio State in education administration.

His entire coaching career within the state of Ohio. His first coaching job was in 1935 as an assistant at Mingo Junction. His first head coaching job came in 1938 at New Philadelphia High, where in three seasons, his teams won 19, Lost 10 and tied one.

A five year stint in the Navy interrupted his coaching career but made a great impact upon his life.

After his discharge, Denison University, his alma mater, gave him his first opportunity to be a head coach in college. The year was 1946. Three years at Denison and two at Miami set the stage for his 1951 debut at Ohio State.

Categories: 1979 Hall Of Fame