Brilliant Coach Defined by 1 Shortcoming

Brilliant Coach Defined by 1 Shortcoming

You can't measure Woody Hayes in yards or feet, New Year's Day victories or national titles. If you did, the old man would stack up well with the best of 'em -- Bryant, Paterno, Rockne. But no, those are measuring sticks for college football's great coaches. Woody Hayes was more than a coach. To size up Hayes -- to understand how he won 205 games during his 28-year stay at Ohio State, and why, to this day, his former players abide by his life lessons -- requires measurements foreign to a football field.

Hayes was a teacher. He was a friend. He was a cheerleader for the ill and a lighthouse for the lost. He was all things great men can be. He was also controlling, quick-tempered, and, at times, irrational.

Woody Hayes may be college football's most complex subject, and yet, on the 100th anniversary of his birth (Feb. 14, 1913) and more than a quarter century since his passing, he is largely forgotten outside the state of Ohio and underappreciated by many of those working in his profession.

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