Urban Meyer is making quite the impression as head coach of Ohio State, but he may never reach the stature of former head coaching legend Woody Hayes.
Hayes was a great coach throughout the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Hayes will go down as one of college football’s great motivators.
Meyer has history at Ohio State, and recently reminisced about a time when he was an assistant coach at Ohio State during the 1986-87 season.
Meyer 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.
Urban Meyer told that story at the annual coaches convention at Ohio State this past weekend, and shared one amazing story according to Larry Brown Sports.
“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.’
“He reaches down and grabs this box, slides the top and there was something in the box moving around. He reaches in and he pulls out this turtle. He reaches down, this turtle’s snapping and he says, ‘I’m going to show you toughness.’ He unzips his pants and takes out whatever he takes out. The turtle reaches up and snaps at him. You see the veins and the sweat (on Hayes). He screams at the coaches, ‘That’s toughness! That’s [expletive] toughness!’ He reaches down, pokes the turtle right in the eye and it falls off. He wipes the sweat off his forehead and says, ‘That’s the problem. We don’t have anybody in this room tough enough to do that right there.’”
Ohio State went 10-3 that year, so I guess Hayes got his toughness approach across to the team.