Saturday, September 15, 2012
Wayne Woodrow Hayes remains as one of my heroes. I was reading my last issue of the Ohio State Alumni magazine featuring the history of Ohio State football coaches. Of the hundreds of wins of Ohio State football teams since its inception in 1890, Woody's record stands out.
205-61-10 is his record. That is more than most of the other Ohio State coaches combined. But the man was more than that record and I got to witness it first hand.
I started my college education in the summer of 1968. The fervor for the great '68 team was vibrant. I would have not missed my student tickets for anything in the world! That was a great privelege I received with my tuition as part of my Alma Mater.
1968 was a great year for me in the middle of changing times. Both Kennedys had been murdered along with Martin Luther King. It wouldn't be long until the Kent State shootings and pandomonium across the country with the Viet Nam War protests.
The 68 team took that all away. It seemed every Ohio State football season overshadowed whatever was going on in the world to those of us who appreciated Ohio State football.
"Woody got off to a rocky start, but he eventually transformed the Buckeyes into a national powerhouse, winning more Big Ten Championships, National Championships and games against Michigan(16) than any other Ohio State football coach.
To say that Hayes preferred to run the ball is a wild understatement. Incredibly, in 1956, the leading passer was not quarterback Frank Elwood but left halfback Don Clark, who hit three of seven passes for 88 yards. Elwood passed for only 86 yards.
Hayes could be demanding, but he was also a genuinely caring man who left a deep impression on his players. Many of them remarked on the grief they felt at his passing.
In his last season, Hayes earned $42,000."
The part for me was that he was a generally caring man. That is what I saw in my father and always tried to emulate myself. That is why men like Woody and dad are such important heroes in my life. It's pretty neat when your dad and your football coach is your hero!
I always wish the Buckeyes the very best but Wayne Woodrow Hayes was the man that made that all happen.