Ohio State Football: The Buckeyes' Mount Rushmore of Head Coaches

Ohio State Football: The Buckeyes' Mount Rushmore of Head Coaches

BuckeyeWire

Ohio State Football: The Buckeyes' Mount Rushmore of Head Coaches


We are finishing our series identifying the best in Ohio State football history. We’ll wrap things up by taking a look at the men in charge on the sideline. Today, BuckeyeWire‘s Mark Russell takes a look at which Ohio State head coaches would belong on the Buckeyes’ Mount Rushmore.


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Ohio State Mount Rushmore Of: Wide Receivers | Offensive Linemen | QuarterbacksTight Ends | Running Backs | Defensive Ends | Defensive Linemen | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties |

In the final edition of the Mount Rushmore series, I’ll try to identify the four most imposing figures to lead the scarlet and gray out of the tunnel.

Woody Hayes (1951-1978)

Woody Hayes brought five national titles to Columbus (three consensus).

We’ll kick off this list with the most revered name in Ohio State history. He’s a no-brainer for the Mount Rushmore of Buckeye gridiron greats. An argument could also be made that Wayne Woodrow Hayes belongs on a Mount Rushmore of the all-time NCAA head football coaches.

Woody was in charge of the OSU football program for 28 years, compiling a record of 205-61-10, capturing 13 Big Ten titles, and five National Championships. A total of 58 All-Americans played under Hayes’ watch along with three total Heisman trophies. The coaching tree which springs from Woody includes names such as Ara Parseghian, Lou Holtz, Earle Bruce, and of course Bo Schembechler.

Just as impressive was Woody’s concern for his players off the field and their academics. Many stories have been told of Woody hosting players at his home, helping them with their studies and teaching them life lessons. Woody Hayes will forever be a legend in Ohio State lore.

Paul Brown (1941-1943)

1942

Paul Brown is an Ohio football legend from high school to the pros. Most notably known for his NFL teams in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Brown also guided the Buckeyes for three years.

Brown was hired at the young age of 33 after a successful stint as a high school coach in Massillon, Ohio. Unsure if hiring someone so young was a wise decision, Brown made the administration forget about his age quickly as he gave Ohio State its first ever national championship in only his second season at the helm.

Unfortunately Brown’s reign only lasted one more season. The team was hit hard by World War II and many players being drafted into military service.  That resulted in a 1943 season ending with just a 3-6 record. Brown would also serve in the military over the next few years himself. While still Ohio State’s coach in absentia in 1944 and 1945, he would resign to start the Cleveland Browns in 1946.

Jim Tressel (2001-2010)

TEMPE, AZ - JANUARY 3: Head coach Jim Tressel of the Ohio State Buckeyes with running back Maurice Clarett #13 during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against the University of Miami Hurricanes at Sun Devil Stadium on January 3, 2003 in Tempe, Arizona. Ohio State won the game 31-24 in double-overtime, winning the NCAA National Championship. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

“I can assure you that you will be proud of our young people in the classroom, in the community and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Mich., on the football field.”  Jim Tressel

Jim Tressel was famous for lauding the punt as the most important play in football. Many were frustrated with what became known as “Tressel Ball,” a conservative approach that seemed to play not to lose, as opposed to aggressively playing for the win. But few could argue with the results, especially against TTUN.

After years of being the Wolverines’ punching bag in the John Cooper years, Tressel made good on his promise that fans would be proud of the young Buckeyes. In his nine years as head coach, the scarlet and gray was victorious in eight of those contests.

Add in an .810 winning percentage, six Big Ten championships, and a national championship over the heralded Miami Hurricanes, and Jim Tressel definitely belongs on this list.

Urban Meyer (2012-Present)

Urban Meyer is still writing his legacy among the greats to lead at Ohio State. Meyer was not well liked in Columbus after his Florida Gators took the Buckeyes to the woodshed in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game 41-14. But oh how things change.

Meyer came on as the head man in 2012 and promptly took the Buckeyes to an undefeated season, although they were not eligible for post-season play due to previous infractions. Just two years later, he guided Ohio State to the first ever College Football Playoff and left no doubt who the best team in the country was with an undisputed national championship.

Urban Meyer currently owns the highest winning percentage in Ohio State history (.901) with a record of 73 wins to only 8 losses, and has never lost to Michigan.

Who do you think should be on the Mount Rushmore of Ohio State head coaches?  Feel free to share your thoughts with me on Twitter.

 

Contact/Follow @BuckeyeWire for ongoing coverage of Ohio State football, basketball, and more.

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