Woody Hayes had friends in high places


Legendary Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes had many friends in high places, according to artifacts contained in the collection at the OSU Library.

When Hayes was fired after punching a Clemson player during the 1978 Gator Bowl, he heard from former U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

“When you win, you hear from everyone,” Nixon wrote to Hayes on Jan. 1, 1979. “When you lose, you hear from your friends. You can be sure that Pat and I will always be in the latter category.”

On Jan. 4, 1979, Ford wrote to Hayes: “Words are sometimes difficult to come by but I want you to know I am your friend come ‘hell or high water.’ I know how much good you have done for so many, including myself, so count me in if I can be helpful in any way.”

In August of 1979, Nixon wrote to Hayes and brought up the idea that Hayes should run for president.

“I am sure that our Russian ‘friends’ wouldn’t dare try to push us around in the Persian Gulf, Africa, Latin America or other places in the world if they thought you had your finger on the button.”

In July of 1986, Hayes heard from then-President Ronald Reagan.

“You can be proud of your record of victories and national championships, but your highest tribute is the admiration and gratitude of former players and all others who know you well,” Reagan wrote. “Your many contributions to the youth of Ohio and the nation will enrich America for many years to come.”

To see other Hayes’ artifacts on line, go to https://library.osu.edu/blogs/woodyhayes/


Trivia Time – Recently-drafted Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer was born in Toledo, Ohio.

This week’s question – Richard Nixon played college football for which school?


By Steve Stout

[email protected]

Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @udcstout

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