W.W. "Woody" Hayes was a three-year letter winner at tackle on the Big Red football team from 1933-35. Hayes also played a year on the baseball team, and was a student assistant boxing coach. He was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.
After graduating Denison, Hayes served as an assistant coach at Mingo Junction High School (1935-36) and New Philadelphia High School (1937) in Ohio. He became the head coach at New Philadelphia in 1938 and posted an 18-11-1 record in three seasons.
In 1941, Woody enlisted in the United States Navy, eventually rising to the position of Lieutenant Commander during World War II. He commanded PC 1251 during the Palau Islands invasion, and the destroyer-escort USS Rinehart in both Atlantic and Pacific operations.
Hayes returned to his alma mater as the head football coach from 1946-48. He went on to go 17-0 over his final two seasons en route to capturing back-to-back Ohio Athletic Conference Championships. He is the only Denison coach to complete two undefeated seasons.
Woody went on to coach at Miami University (Ohio) for two seasons (1949-50). Hayes posted a 14-5 record, including a victory over Arizona State in the 1951 Salad Bowl. After a successful stint at Miami, he accepted the head coaching position at Ohio State University. Hayes compiled a 205-61-10 record during his 25-year career with the Buckeyes. He led OSU to three national championships (1954, 1957 and 1968) and 10 Big Ten titles.
A native of Clifton, Ohio, Hayes received his bachelor’s degree from Denison in 1935. In 1948, he earned a master’s degree from The Ohio State University. Hayes is also a past president of the American Football Coaches Association.