Former Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes wasn’t afraid of no turtle.
According to current Buckeyes head man Urban Meyer, Hayes once had a turtle bite his, uh, Little Woody to prove his toughness to a room full of OSU coaches. Meyer says Hayes wasn’t even a coach at the time, but was asked by then-head coach Earle Bruce to give a speech to the staff, which included a young Meyer.
Meyer had this to say at an Ohio coaches convention held this past weekend:
“He reaches down and grabs this box, slides the top and there was something in the box moving around. He reaches in and he pulls out this turtle. He reaches down, this turtle’s snapping and he says, ‘I’m going to show you toughness.’ He unzips his pants and takes out whatever he takes out. The turtle reaches up and snaps at him. You see the veins and the sweat (on Hayes). He screams at the coaches, ‘That’s toughness! That’s f’n toughness!’ He reaches down, pokes the turtle right in the eye and it falls off. He wipes the sweat off his forehead and says, ‘That’s the problem. We don’t have anybody in this room tough enough to do that right there.
“(One assistant) raises his hand and says, ‘Coach, I’d do this. Just promise not to poke me in the eye.’”
With any other coach, this story would sound like a ridiculous tall tale. With the late Hayes, who is infamous for his temper and punching a Clemson player in the face during the 1978 Gator Bowl, this is all too believeable.
[Warning: Video is NSFW]