Ohio State football: Bronze statue of Hayes to be unveiled today
Shades of Woody: Solomon Ayalew, 19, left, of Reynoldsburg and Mims Gatewood, 19, of Columbus display their Woody Hayes-style specs after the Drills with Woody fitness challenge yesterday, part of a weeklong celebration of Hayes, whose 100th birthday would have been Thursday, and his wife, Anne.
For almost five years, Alan Cottrill has been staring into the eyes of a bronze-likeness of Woody Hayes, but starting about 12:30 p.m. today, that Hayes gaze will fall upon visitors to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
A granite base for Cottrill’s 8-foot, 800-pound bronze statue of the winningest Ohio State football coach already is in place, along with an accompanying plaque. When the statue is secured, Cottrill expects observers to see the same thing he has seen for a while.
“If I had only one word to describe it, it would be intensity,” said Cottrill, 60, who formed the statue in his Zanesville, Ohio, studio. “More than just the eyes, I’m talking about whole posture. That’s what it was about for me. … I wanted it to convey the intelligence he had. He was incredibly bright, he had that will to win and the humanity — he was a kind guy. His players loved him.”
Cottrill started the project about five years ago. With Ohio State planning tributes to Hayes around the 100th anniversary of his birth on Feb. 14, 1913, this week, including a fundraiser on Friday, Ohio State alumni association president Archie Griffin approached Cottrill about completing the statue.
“People are going to forget about that dinner, and they’re going to forget about those former players being there,” Cottrill said. “But that statue to Woody Hayes, it’s going to be there for a hundred years.”