FB: Woody Hayes Among The Sporting News? 50 Greatest Coaches of All-Time

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Wayne Woodrow "Woody" Hayes, the heart and soul of Ohio State football for 28 years, Wednesday was named to The Sporting News' list of the Top 50 Greatest Coaches of All-Time, as selected by a panel of 118 Hall of Famers, championship coaches and other experts. Hayes came in at No. 27, joining three other Big Ten football coaching legends, Penn State's Joe Paterno (No. 13), Michigan's Bo Schembechler (No. 36) and Chicago’s Amos Alonzo Stagg (No. 40). The 14-page feature is part of the new Sporting News Magazine, which hits newsstands this week.

Former Ohio State and NFL head coach Paul Brown came in at No. 12. Brown coached the Buckeyes from 1941-43, going 18-8-1, before coaching the Cleveland Browns (1946-1962) and Cincinnati Bengals (1968-1975) in the NFL.  

The Hayes File:

  • 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
  • Among those who filled out ballots for SN: Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany; current league coaches Kirk Ferentz, Rich Rodriguez and Jim Tressel; and former coaches Barry Alvarez, John Cooper and Bump Elliott. Other big-name coaches on SN’s panel: Bobby Bowden, Larry Brown, Whitey Herzog, Tommy Lasorda, Marv Levy, Tom Osborne, Don Shula, Steve Spurrier, Bob Stoops, Pat Summitt, Barry Switzer, Lenny Wilkens and Roy Williams, among others. The full voting panel is below.

    UCLA’s John Wooden was a runaway winner, picking up 57 first-place votes from SN’s panel, which includes seven World Series-winning managers, four Super Bowl champion coaches and the winningest coaches in the NBA, NHL and college basketball. 

    Wooden, who won a record 10 Division I men’s basketball championships in 12 years, edged Green Bay Packers great Vince Lombardi for the top spot. Rounding out the top 20 of SN’s list:  3. Bear Bryant (college football), 4. Phil Jackson (NBA), 5. Don Shula (NFL), 6. Red Auerbach (NBA), 7. Scotty Bowman (NHL), 8. Dean Smith (college basketball), 9. Casey Stengel (MLB), 10. Rockne, 11. Pat Summitt (women’s college basketball), 12. Paul Brown (NFL), 13. Joe Paterno (college football), 14. George Halas (NFL), 15. Chuck Noll (NFL), 16. Bob Knight (college basketball), 17. Joe Gibbs (NFL), 18. Tom Landry (NFL), 19. Mike Krzyzewski (college basketball) and 20. Bill Belichick (NFL).

    In addition to current and former coaches, SN’s panel includes a Super Bowl-winning owner (the Steelers’ Dan Rooney), former commissioners (MLB’s Fay Vincent, the NHL’s John Ziegler) and award-winning broadcasters (Brent Musburger, Marty Brennaman), The complete panel is below.
    SN turned to former players of the top 20 coaches on the list, asking each to relive a moment that best defined their greatness. Among the guest contributors: Hall of Famers Bart Starr (on Lombardi), Dwight Stephenson (on Bryant), Paul Warfield (on Shula), Luc Robitaille (on Bowman), Mike McCormack (on Brown), Gale Sayers (on Halas), Lynn Swann (on Noll), Isiah Thomas (on Knight) and Roger Staubach (on Landry).
    The new Sporting News Magazine, also featuring a special conversation between star running backs Jim Brown and Adrian Peterson, hits newsstands later this week and can be purchased at all Barnes & Noble, Borders and Hudson Retail outlets. All questions and requests should be directed to editor-in-chief Jeff D’Alessio at jdalessio@sportingnews.com.


    1. John Wooden, college basketball
    2. Vince Lombardi, NFL
    3. Bear Bryant, college football
    4. Phil Jackson, NBA
    5. Don Shula, NFL
    6. Red Auerbach, NBA
    7. Scotty Bowman, NHL
    8. Dean Smith, college basketball
    9. Casey Stengel, MLB
    10. Knute Rockne, college football
    11. Pat Summitt, women’s college basketball
    12. Paul Brown, NFL
    13. Joe Paterno, college football
    14. George Halas, NFL
    15. Chuck Noll, NFL
    16. Bob Knight, college basketball
    17. Joe Gibbs, NFL
    18. Tom Landry, NFL
    19. Mike Krzyzewski, college basketball
    20. Bill Belichick, NFL
    21. Adolph Rupp, college basketball
    22. Joe McCarthy, MLB
    23. Eddie Robinson, college football
    24. Bobby Bowden, college football
    25. John McGraw, MLB
    26. Bill Walsh, NFL
    27. Woody Hayes, college football
    28. Connie Mack, MLB
    29. Bud Wilkinson, college football
    30. Pat Riley, NBA
    31. Pete Newell, college basketball
    32. Joe Torre, MLB
    33. Bill Parcells, NFL
    34. Tom Osborne, college football
    35. Walter Alston, MLB
    36. Bo Schembechler, college football
    37. Toe Blake, NHL
    38. Sparky Anderson, MLB
    39. Al Arbour, NHL
    40. Amos Alonzo Stagg, college football
    41. Tony La Russa, MLB
    42. Geno Auriemma, women’s college basketball
    43. Dick Irvin, NHL
    44. Ara Parseghian, college football
    45. Chuck Daly, NBA
    46. Bobby Cox, MLB
    47. Hank Iba, college basketball
    48. Tommy Lasorda, MLB
    49. Gregg Popovich, NBA
    50. Herb Brooks, NHL

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