75 Woody Hayes Quotes from the American Football Player

Woody Hayes was a famous football coach with a 238-72-10 career record.

He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, later coaching at Denison and Miami Universities before leading Ohio State University (OSU) from 1951-78.

His dynamic coaching style was both admired and criticized. At OSU, Hayes got significant success securing 13 Big Ten and three National Championships, while developing three Heisman Trophy winners and 51 first-team All-Americans.

Despite controversies, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.


Let’s go through some of the best quotes by Woody Hayes.

Top 10 Woody Hayes Quotes


Anything easy ain’t worth a damn! – Woody Hayes.


Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. – Woody Hayes.


Nothing that comes easy in this world is worth a damn. – Woody Hayes.


Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be. – Woody Hayes.


The only meaningful statistic is number of games won. – Woody Hayes.


Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory. – Woody Hayes.


We control by attitudes-positive mental attitudes-not by rules. – Woody Hayes.


You can never really pay back. You can only pay forward. – Woody Hayes.


I don’t like nice people. I like tough, honest people. – Woody Hayes.


Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final gun sounds. – Woody Hayes.

Famous Woody Hayes Quotes


A good general always makes you search for his weaknesses. – Woody Hayes.


I may not be able to outsmart too many people, but I can outwork ’em. – Woody Hayes.


Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. – Woody Hayes.

Football represents and embodies everything that’s great about this country, because the United States of America is built on winners, not losers or people who didn’t bother to play. – Woody Hayes.


Indomitable in victory, insufferable in defeat. – Woody Hayes.

Football is, after all, a wonderful way to get rid of your aggressions without going to jail for it. – Woody Hayes.

If you show me a good guy that the players love all the time, I will show you a loser. – Woody Hayes.


Success – it’s what you do with what you’ve got. – Woody Hayes.


A man is always better than he thinks. – Woody Hayes.


The most deceptive course in football is straight at the goalposts. – Woody Hayes.


Defeats are the things that make men out of you. – Woody Hayes.

Great Woody Hayes Quotes


The game of football is one of strategy and tactics. – Woody Hayes.

Any time you give a man something he doesn’t earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect. – Woody Hayes.

Not everybody can be first team, but you can always put the team first. – Woody Hayes.


The height of human desire is what wins, whether it’s on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium. – Woody Hayes.

The five big mistakes in football are the fumble, the interception, the penalty, the badly called play, the blocked punt—and most of these originate with the quarterback. Find a mistake-proof quarterback and you have this game won. – Woody Hayes.


There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you. – Woody Hayes.

Without winners, there would be no civilization. – Woody Hayes.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. – Woody Hayes.

We do not pull in and fill up. And I’ll tell you why we don’t. It’s because I don’t buy one goddamn drop of gas in the state of Michigan. We’ll coast and push this goddamn car to the Ohio line before I give this state a nickel of my money. – Woody Hayes.

Best Woody Hayes Quotes

You have to play hard for four quarters, getting to third base is nothing, you have to touch home plate. – Woody Hayes.


Feeling cold is psychological. – Woody Hayes.

Picking an assistant coach, the first thing I was interested in was the man’s character. – Woody Hayes.

You don’t get many chances to pay back what’s been done for you. Take them. – Woody Hayes.


Success is the only motivational factor that a boy with character needs. – Woody Hayes.

The only way we’d get beaten was if we got a little fat-headed if we didn’t train right if we had dissension on the squad. – Woody Hayes.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart. – Woody Hayes.

I don’t motivate the players. I get them to motivate themselves. That’s the only kind of motivation that’s worth a damn. – Woody Hayes.


The bowl games are only supposed to be a fun reward. – Woody Hayes.

Because I couldn’t go for three. – Woody Hayes.

Motivational Woody Hayes Quotes

It does not matter the size of the man, rather the amount of effort the man is willing to put forth. – Woody Hayes.

I’ve had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven’t run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can’t outwork you, then smarts aren’t going to do them much good. – Woody Hayes.


Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it. – Woody Hayes.

I recruited a Czech kicker, and during the eye exam, when asked to read the bottom line, the kicker replied, Read it? I know him. – Woody Hayes.

You can never really payback. You can only pay forward. – Woody Hayes.

In football, we always said that the other team couldn’t beat us. We had to be sure that we didn’t beat ourselves. And that’s what people have to do, too – make sure they don’t beat themselves. – Woody Hayes.

You can outwork anybody. Try it, you will find out that you can do it. – Woody Hayes.


So when you get knocked on you butt, get up, get over it, and then next time, kick their ass. – Woody Hayes.

I’ve had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven’t run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can’t outwork you, then smarts aren’t going to do them much good. That’s just the way it is. And if you believe that and live by it, you’d be surprised at how much fun you can have. Any time you give a man something he doesn’t earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect. – Woody Hayes.

Positive Woody Hayes Quotes

When I look in the mirror in the morning, I want to take a swing at me. – Woody Hayes.


You can never pay back, so you should always try to pay forward. – Woody Hayes.

I don’t apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there. I just despise to lose, and that has taken a man of mediocre ability and made a pretty good coach out of him. – Woody Hayes.

I don’t buy one drop of gas in the state of Michigan. – Woody Hayes.

When you’re winning – you don’t need any friends. When you’re losing – you don’t have any friends anyway. – Woody Hayes.


I’m not trying to win a popularity poll. I’m trying to win football games. – Woody Hayes.

There’s nothing in this world that comes easy. There are a lot of people who aren’t going to bother to win. We learn in football to get up and go once more. – Woody Hayes.

Popular Woody Hayes Quotes

You don’t get hurt running straight ahead…three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense. I will pound you and pound you until you quit. – Woody Hayes.

The only thing even in this world is the number of hours in a day. The difference in winning or losing is what you do with those hours. – Woody Hayes.

No back in the history of football was ever worth two fumbles a game. – Woody Hayes.

Winners are men who have dedicated their whole lives to winning. – Woody Hayes.


Paralyze resistance with persistence. – Woody Hayes.

To hell with exciting. I’d rather be drab as hell and win. – Woody Hayes.

Nobody despises to lose more than I do. That’s got me into trouble over the years, but it also made a man of mediocre ability into a pretty good coach. – Woody Hayes.

Jack Tatum could hit a man so hard that it would lift both his feet off the ground. – Woody Hayes.

Inspiring Woody Hayes Quotes

I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose. – Woody Hayes.


You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one. – Woody Hayes.

The minute I think I’m getting mellow, I’m retiring. Whoever heard of a mellow winner? – Woody Hayes.

The players fire the coach, and as long as I’m on the same wavelength with them, I can coach as long as I want to. – Woody Hayes.

It’s never an upset if the so-called underdog has all along considered itself the better team. – Woody Hayes.

You’ll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime. As a matter of fact, I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face. Never. – Woody Hayes.


I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face. – Woody Hayes.

They may outsmart me, or be luckier, but they can’t outwork me. – Woody Hayes.

Statistics always remind me of fellow who drowned in a river where the average depth was only three feet. – Woody Hayes.

So these were the 75 top Woody Hayes quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Larry David quotes and Eric Carle quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar