Did you know Ohio State football's winningest and most legendary coach of all-time doesn't have a statue in his own hometown?
We didn't either, and we intend to rectify that situation with your help.
Newcomerstown, Ohio, a gem of a village in Tuscarawas county with a population under 4,000, was the home of Wayne Woodrow "Woody" Hayes during his formative years.
Hayes played center for the Newcomerstown high school football team even serving as captain his senior year while his father, Wayne Benton Hayes, enjoyed his post as school superintendent for 20 years.
After high school, Woody graduated from Denison University, served in the Navy during World War II, and moved on to head coaching positions at both Denison and Miami University before becoming Ohio State's 19th head coach in 1951.
Woody took the Buckeyes to then-unprecedented heights winning 276 games over 28 seasons capturing five National Championships and 13 Big Ten titles while producing 54 All-Americans, 18 Academic All-Americans and three Heisman Trophy winners.
Late this summer, Jason and I took a field trip to Newcomerstown to experience the village and meet with BJ McFadden, who we quickly learned was a walking encyclopedia of all things Newcomerstown and Woody Hayes which was impressive even with her title as Director of the Newcomerstown Historical Society and Temperance Tavern Museum.
The museum contains a room dedicated to the life of Woody Hayes but frankly, we assumed there would be an even greater presence to honor Woody's accomplishments but the reality is that funds and resources don't grow on trees.
That's where you come in.
After discussions with Ms. McFadden and later Alan Cottrill, an incredibly accomplished sculptor who has enjoyed enormous success including the creation of the Woody Hayes statue you see outside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center today, it became clear to us we needed to leverage our great platform and generous readers here at Eleven Warriors to pave the way for a life-size statue of Woody to grace the grounds of the Newcomerstown Historical Society.
This will be a tall task however as life-size statues aren't cheap, even with Mr. Cottrill – a huge Buckeye fan himself – partnering with us to keep expenses to a minimum. Still, for creation, transport and setup of such a worthy tribute, we'll need to raise $40,000.
A lofty goal to be sure, we're confident it can be reached knowing the 11W community has shown up in spades before whether it be the successful Respect The Basement effort to hire our first beat-writer and full-time employee five years ago or our collective efforts donating food to Mid-Ohio Foodbank, or the string of annual charity tailgate parties raising money for causes such as the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research or the ongoing partnership with DownSyndrome Achieves.
Now, it is time to honor Woody and Pay It Forward once again.
Donations of any amount are welcomed.
While any monetary donation will be accepted and appreciated, we're also proud to announce donation tiers that come with varying levels of recognition:
- $100 Donation: You earn your spot in history with your name on the list of donors on elevenwarriors.com.
- $500 Donation: Your name, family name, or business name (max 30 characters) will go on the plaque next to the Hayes statue.
- $1000 Donation: Your name, family name, or business name (max 30 characters) will appear in a larger font a little further up the plaque next to the Hayes statue.
- $5000 Donation: Your name, family name, or business name (max 30 characters) will appear in the largest font size near the top of the plaque next to the Hayes statue.
- $10,000 Donation: The logo of your business will appear near the top of the plaque next to the Hayes statue.