Coaches are only as good as their motivational tactics, which may be one of the reasons former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes enjoyed so much success with the Buckeyes in the 50s, 60s and 70s. The five-time national champion helped mold Ohio State into the powerhouse that it is today, and you know what they say — you can’t build a contender without letting a turtle bite you in the private parts.
Alright, so no one says that. But according to Urban Meyer, Hayes once did it. When Meyer was an assistant coach at OSU from 1986-87, he said then-head coach Earle Bruce brought in a 73-year-old Hayes to speak with the coaching staff about the current state of the program. At the annual coaches convention at Ohio State earlier this week, Meyer told a story about that day. CoachingSearch.com shared the fantastic details with us:
“So I guess Ohio State had lost the bowl game, so Earl Bruce brings in Woody Hayes,” Meyer recalled. “I had been there just a week and I’m thinking, ‘Holy, this is Coach Hayes.’ I’m sitting in the back. Coach Hayes was not healthy at the time, but stands up and starts laying into the coaching staff about toughness. That we have no toughness in the program. That’s why we lost the game. On and on and screaming, this old guy pounding the table. He says, ‘We have no toughness, and the reason is because you’re not tough. No one on this staff is tough enough, and that’s a problem.’