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Famed Coach Dies at 74

March 12, 1987 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Woody Hayes, who became one of the most successful coaches in college football history, guiding the Ohio State University team to 205 wins and two national championships, died today at the age of 74.

Dr. Robert Murphy, Hayes’ physician, said the coach died of an apparent heart attack as he slept in his suburban Upper Arlington home. Anne Hayes discovered her husband dead in his bed at about 6 a.m., Murphy said. ...................BULLETIN...............................................

Woody Hayes, who became one of the most successful coaches in college football history, guiding the Ohio State University team to 205 wins and two national championships, died today at the age of 74.

Russell Spillman, vice president for student affairs, quoted OSU Athletic Director Rick Bay as saying that Hayes, who had been in ill health during recent years, died at his home about 6 a.m.(0756EST) ............................................................................

Hayes’ coaching career ended in 1978, a few hours after the Buckeyes lost the Gator Bowl to Clemson.

In front of a national television audience, Hayes struck Charlie Bauman, a Clemson nose guard who had intercepted an Ohio State pass late in the game. Hayes refused to apologize, and was fired.

Hayes had coached the Ohio State team longer than anyone in the school’s history, turning around its reputation as the ″Graveyard of Coaches.″

President Reagan, in a statement issued by the White House, called Hayes ″a legend in college football.″

″Colorful and sometimes even controversial, he cared deeply about his players, his team and his school,″ Reagan said. ″Nancy and I extend our deep sympathy to his family and to the Ohio State University community.″

Said former President Richard Nixon, ″Woody Hayes is widely known as one of the greatest football coaches of our time, but I knew him also to be a man who had a remarkable grasp of history and of foreign policy. Like all great men, regardless of profession, Woody Hayes understood the great forces that moved the world. I was privileged to know him as a loyal friend and as an insightful, wise counselor.″

″I had respect and deep affection for Woody Hayes,″ Vice President George Bush said today. ″He was a real competitor, a fighter, and my friend. As Woody was helped up the steps at a big dinner in Columbus late last year, the entire audience rose to its feet; and when he finished a very general introduction, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. He spoke from the heart. He led with the soul. He gave his all, and showed us all a lot of class. We will miss him.″

Wayne Woodrow ″Woody″ Hayes joined the Big Ten school in 1951, the school’s fifth coach in nine years.

He led the team to victory in 205 games, lost 61 and tied 10 in 28 seasons. The Buckeyes won national championships in 1954 and 1968 and turned out 13 Big Ten champions and eight Rose Bowl squads.

Earlier, Hayes guided his alma mater, Denison University, to a 19-6 record in 1946-48, and then took Miami of Ohio to a 14-5 mark in 1949-50.

In 33 years of college coaching, all in his native Ohio, he posted a 238-72-10 record. Only Paul ″Bear″ Bryant, with 323 wins, Amos Alonzo Stagg with 314 and Glenn ″Pop″ Warner with 313, won more major college football games. Eddie Robinson of Grambling, a smaller school, is the all-time leader with 336.

As successful as Hayes was, he was almost as controversial, mostly because of a temper that he admitted he never learned to control.

Before a packed Columbus Chamber of Commerce audience a month after his firing, Hayes admitted that even Glenn ″Bo″ Schembechler, a former player and assistant and Hayes’ biggest rival as coach at Michigan, couldn’t talk him into an apology for the Clemson game incident.

″But I’m as stubborn as he is. I don’t apologize for anything. I don’t think there is an easy way out,″ Hayes said.

But Hayes, a strict disciplinarian, believed in loyalty.

″I gave the university about everything I had,″ he said. ″I’ll never take it out on this university. It means too much to me.″

Hayes’ behavior often overshadowed his accomplishments on the field.

He was twice placed on probation by the Big Ten Conference - in 1956 for making personal loans to his players and in 1977 for a sideline altercation with an ABC-TV cameraman during a game at Michigan.

Hayes also drew a rap in 1959 from the American Football Coaches Association’s ethics committee. He had been involved in a ruckus with two California sports writers following a 17-0 loss at Southern California. The Los Angeles Times filed assault charges against Hayes, charging that he had pushed a camera into the face of staffer Art Rogers prior to the 1973 Rose Bowl. The charges were later dropped.

Earle Bruce, a former Hayes assistant who later succeeded him as Ohio State coach, said, ″What sticks out in my mind right now are all the good things he did for his former players and coaches. He always had a lot of time for them.

″He was a tremendously different person off the field than on,″ said Bruce. ″Off the field, he knew everybody’s name and always had a word of advice. On the field, he was quite demanding, to say the least.″

Schembechler said Hayes ″was a great personal friend of mine, and this is a tremendous loss. He was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, football coach we’ve ever had in the Big Ten football conference.″

″He was almost like a father to me. He was my mentor, and I was very close to him,″ Schembechler said.

Hayes produced two Hesiman Trophy winners, Howard ″Hopalong″ Cassady in 1955 and Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975, and 58 All-Americans. His teams won a league-record six consecutive Big Ten title from 1972 through 1977.

And he achieved such a record despite suffering a heart attack in 1974 that threatened to end his career.

Hayes had been in failing health in recent years. In 1981, he underwent two operations, one on his gall bladder and the second to remove a surgical sponge left in him. He suffered stroke in 1984 and 1985, and a heart attack in 1985.

Hayes, born in Clifton, Ohio, on Feb. 14, 1913, the son of a secondary school superintendent, was a close friend of Nixon and Gerald Ford, and sometimes campaigned for them. He also made four trips to Vietnam.

A campus street that runs alongside Ohio Stadium was renamed Woody Hayes Drive, and Ohio State later bestowed its Distinguished Service Award upon him.