Friday, May 25, 2018
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Ohio State

OSU honors iconic coach Hayes with bronze statue for 100th birthday


A statue of Woody Hayes is moved into place at the east entrance of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus. Hayes had a record of 205-61-10 with the Buckeyes and won three national titles.


COLUMBUS — Steven Hayes has an idea what his father would say about the eight-foot bronze statue placed Wednesday in front of Ohio State's Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

''Ahh, why do you need all that stuff,'' Steven Hayes said, falling into an impression of father. "That would have been him. I like it. It's great. They captured his intensity too. Other sculptures I've seen, they didn't. They were good, but this is the whole package. I really like it. I'm happy."

Sculptor Alan Cottrill of Zanesville was on hand as Hayes was moved from the truck that towed him on a flatbed trailer to his final resting spot on a pedestal that read "Woody Hayes."

A strap was placed around the neck of the statue as Hayes was lifted into place, with Cottrill adjusting just how Hayes would be angled on the granite base before holes were drilled for the final placement.

The Buckeyes' coach from 1951-78 will greet all visitors who come in the front of the Buckeyes' football facility that was already named in his honor.

The statue is just one part of the campus celebration this week that will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Hayes' birth, which is today.

Hayes had a record of 205-61-10 at OSU, winning three national titles and 13 Big Ten championships. He had a career record of 238-72-10 including three seasons at Denison and two at Miami (Ohio).

Cottrill, who also sculpted the Jesse Owens statue that Ohio State put into place outside its track stadium, said he started the Hayes piece five years ago, long before he talked to Ohio State about it. His first conversation with Ohio State came about 2½ years ago.

Told about Steve Hayes' impression of the statue's intensity, Cottrill said, "That's the essence of the piece. It was easy for me, I'm one intense S.O.B. I've done some saints, they're a lot harder for me.

"I saw his expression. I saw the feeling of the piece. I saw the intelligence I wanted to convey in his eyes. The humanity, the compassion, I saw it all. I just had to give the form to what I already saw. I felt a kinship. I'm way too intense."

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