Bob Knight on Woody Hayes

Basketball coach shared his view in Ohio State Alumni Magazine in '94

In 1994, legendary basketball coach Bob Knight '62 teamed up with Jack Nicklaus to chair the campaign that established the Woody Hayes Chair in National Security Studies at Ohio State. In support of the effort, Knight wrote this letter, which appeared in the March 1994 edition of the alumni magazine.

Dear Ohio Staters,

This month it is my privilege to serve as the chairperson of the public campaign for the Woody Hayes Chair in National Security Studies. I'm asking each of you to join with me in helping Ohio State University establish in perpetuity an endowed faculty position in honor of Coach Hayes.

During my years as a student at Ohio State, 1958 through 1962, I had the opportunity to play basketball for one of the finest teachers I have ever known and certainly the best basketball coach to ever come out of the Big Ten in Fred Taylor. It was from Coach Taylor that I learned the value of teaching athletics and am, therefore, able to understand what a great teacher Woody Hayes was. I don't judge Woody as a former player as I did not play for him, but I think even more appropriately as a former student in his theory of coaching class. He was quite simply the finest classroom teacher by far that I have ever seen. He had a profound influence on all who took his class. I am one of hundreds of his former players and students who continue to benefit from his advice and counsel long after finishing school.

Woody's efforts as a teacher were not limited to former players and the students he taught in class. We will never know the countless hours he spent with people seeking his help or advice, many of whom he did not even know. There has never been a person more committed to to the pursuit of excellence or more devoted in his body and soul to Ohio State than Wayne Woodrow Hayes.

His love for football was certainly matched by his love of his country and his regard for the value and lessons of history. In my opinion no greater honor could be bestowed on Woody than making this possible by using the pledge card below to reach the necessary goal of 1.5 million.

What great memories Woody's teams have left with all Ohio State fans: All-Americans, Rose Bowls, Big Ten Championships, and National Championships. The greatest memory of all, however, is the man himself; Woody Hayes -- Patriot, Historian, Teacher.


Bob Knight

Basketball Coach