Today is the 98th anniversary of the birth date of Wayne Woodrow Hayes.
Coach Hayes was a man who lived an interesting life and left an indelible imprint on the Ohio State University and on the Columbus community. Although people outside of Columbus often remember him for his volcanic temper and sideline tirades as much as for his success in coaching the Ohio State Buckeyes on the gridiron, many in Columbus fondly recall him as an intelligent, caring, and generous person who believed in community involvement and “paying forward” to others. He was passionate about the Ohio State University and the value of getting an education from a school that he believed was second to none. And while football was important, to be sure, Coach Hayes was by no means one-dimensional in his outlook or his interests. He quoted Emerson, was an avid student of military history, and kept careful track of his players and urged them, repeatedly, to make the most of their degrees, their careers, and their lives.
People who did not know him now casually talk about “Woody.” I prefer to think of him as Coach Hayes. In Ohio, the title “Coach” is one of honor and respect. Wayne Woodrow Hayes left a legacy that deserves both.