Woody Hayes
Woody Hayes

Head Coach 1951-1978

For 28 years he was the heart and soul of Ohio State Football. A worshipper of tough men, he preached self-reliance, education and that the more you give, the more you get in return. He took the Buckeyes to heights never before achieved in the school’s rich football history and touched more than a few lives along the way.

Between 1951 and 1978, while Woody Hayes stalked the Ohio Stadium sidelines, the Buckeyes won five national titles (and narrowly missed out on four others), captured 13 Big Ten crowns and won 205 games, including 152 conference games. Twice the Buckeyes won a conference record 17-consecutive league games.

Under Hayes, the Buckeyes played in 11 bowl games, including eight Rose Bowls. Ohio State is the only Big Ten school to play in four-consecutive Rose Bowls, traveling to Pasadena following the 1972-73-74 and ’75 seasons.

Under Hayes’ guidance, 56 different Ohio State players garnered first-team All-America honors. Additionally, he coached three Heisman Trophy winners, three Outland Trophy recipients and two Lombardi Award honorees.

Four of Hayes’ teams notched unbeaten records and five others suffered just one loss. Between 1968 and 1970, the Buckeyes were 27-2 and won three Big Ten titles. From 1972 to 1977, OSU reeled off six-consecutive league championships and fashioned a combined record of 49-8.

The list of former Hayes assistants includes Bill Mallory, Glen Mason, Gary Moeller, Lou Holtz, Bo Schembechler, Earle Bruce and Joe Bugel, just to name a few.

Hayes recorded a lifetime record of 238-72-10. During his stay with the Buckeyes, Hayes twice won National Coach of the Year honors. And during the Hayes era, the Buckeyes led the nation in attendance 21 times and finished second in each of the other seven years.

Hayes, who grew up in Newcomerstown, Ohio, graduated from Denison in 1935. He spent his entire coaching career within the state of Ohio, coaching at Denison for three years and at Miami (Ohio) for two.

Hayes was a noted historian with a passion for military history. He held the rank of associate professor at Ohio State and took great pride in being able to teach during the offseason. He was as proud of his players’ high graduation rate as he was of their success on the football field.

Wayne Woodrow “Woody” Hayes was born Feb. 14, 1913, in Clifton, Ohio. He died March 12, 1987, but his influence lives through the many thousands of people he touched during his 28 years at Ohio State. Woody Hayes holds a special place in college football history.

All-Time NCAA I-A Victories

Joe Paterno* 337
Robert “Bobby” Bowden* 333
Paul “Bear” Bryant 323
Glenn “Pop” Warner 319
Amos Alonzo Stagg 314
LaVell Edwards 257
Tom Osborne 255
LaVelle Edwards 257
Lou Holtz* 243
Woody Hayes 238
Glenn E. “Bo” Schembechler 234
Hayden Fry 232
*indicates active coach
Source: NCAA Official Records Book

Woody Hayes at Ohio State

  • Won five national titles (1970, 1968, 1961, 1957 and 1954)
  • Won 13 Big Ten championships
  • Won 205 overall and 152 conference games
  • Led Ohio State to 11 bowl games (eight Rose Bowls)
  • Took Ohio State to four-consecutive Rose Bowls (1972-75)
  • Produced 56 first team All-Americans
  • Coached three Heisman Trophy and three Outland Trophy winners
  • Coached two Lombardi Award winners

    Hayes’ Ohio State record by year

    Year Overall Big Ten Big Ten Finish Bowl Game National Finish
    1951 4-3-2 2-3-2 5th
    1952 6-3 5-2 3rd 17th
    1953 6-3 4-3 4th
    1954 10-0 7-0 1st Rose Bowl 1st
    1955 7-2 6-0 1st 5th
    1956 6-3 4-2 4th (tied) 15th
    1957 9-1 7-0 1st Rose Bowl 1st
    1958 6-1-2 4-1-2 3rd 8th
    1959 3-5-1 2-4-1 8th (tied)
    1960 7-2 5-2 3rd 8th
    1961 8-0-1 6-0 1st 1st (NFF) (2nd AP)
    1962 6-3 4-2 3rd (tied)
    1963 5-3-1 4-1-1 2nd (tied)
    1964 7-2 5-1 2nd 9th
    1965 7-2 6-1 2nd
    1966 4-5 3-4 6th
    1967 6-3 5-2 4th
    1968 10-0 7-0 1st Rose Bowl 1st
    1969 8-1 6-1 1st (tied) 4th
    1970 9-1 7-0 1st Rose Bowl 1st (NFF)
    1971 6-4 5-3 3rd (tied)
    1972 9-2 7-1 1st (tied) Rose Bowl 9th
    1973 10-0-1 7-0-1 1st (tied) Rose Bowl 2nd
    1974 10-2 7-1 1st (tied) Rose Bowl 4th
    1975 11-1 8-0 1st Rose Bowl 4th
    1976 9-2-1 7-1 1st (tied) Orange Bowl 6th
    1977 9-3 7-1 1st (tied) Sugar Bowl 11th
    1978 7-4-1 6-2 4th Gator Bowl