On February 14th, The Ohio State University, will celebrate the 100th birthday of one of their most beloved coaches, Woody Hayes. Wednesday, outside of The Woody Hayes Athletic Center on OSU’s campus, a memorial statue of Hayes created by a Zanesville native was erected.
Sculptor, Alan Cottrill, has beautified the streeets of Zanesville with his figurative art for years. While he has produced hundreds of busts and monumental pieces for numerous people across the United States, when his 8 foot replica of Woody Hayes was erected, he felt it was a career high.
"Oh, huge thrill, huge honor. Exciting as can be," Cottrill said. "He said is this in the top ten? I said heck yeah! So I have done about a 125 monumental scale statues around the country, this is one of the best ones. Yes. "
Cottrill used photos of the coach to create accurate proportions for the monument but focused heavily on conveying the person Hayes was.
"But more than the proportions, is the feeling, the emotive quality of the piece. The intensity, that’s what it’s about and Woodys kindness and his humanity. I tried to convey that and his intelligence through the face and the eyes."
Many of Hayes fans, friends and family showed support by attending the unveiling and there was an overwhelming consensus for how the statue turned out.
Hayes’ only child, Judge Steven Hayes said, "The sculpture turned out beautifully. I told Alan that I had seen a smaller bust, but this captures his drive. It’s him. It’s great. I like it very much. "
While Senior Vice President and Executive Officer at OSU, Jeff Kaplan said, "I think it is great, a great likeness of him on the sidelines. He did a great job. "
In order to place the statue on the granite base, the replica had to be lifted by a crane.
"But at one point they had him around the neck and I think that would have been a very popular poster in Ann Arbor. Probably could have sold a lot of them," said Hayes.
The entire week is Anne and Woody Hayes Celebration Week, honoring their legacy, featuring events and activites.
Kaplan said, "There is a wonderful whole week of events, celebrating not only what he did on the field, but what he and his wife, Anne, did for the university and for the community."
As for Cottrill, when asked how long it took him to build the statue he stated 60 years. It was the sum of one’s life experiences.
It was easy for OSU officials to decide to memorialize Hayes and his legacy will stand strong within the statue for generations of OSU fans to come.