Current Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer is easily one of the best motivators in college football. Speaking at a seminar for Ohio high school coaches recently, Meyer shared an interesting story — later clarified by Ohio State to be a joke — about motivation and toughness. Specifically, it involves former Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes, a turtle and something else that we can’t say because, well, you’ll see.
So, without any further delay, we’ll let Meyer take it away:
(Disclaimer: we’re required to warn you that the subject of the story is iffy in case you’re easily offended or anything. You know, to cover our behinds. Or, other things. You know what? I’m just going to stop right there before I get in trouble.)
“So I guess Ohio State had lost the bowl game, so Earl Bruce brings in Woody Hayes. I had been there just a week and I’m thinking, ‘Holy, this is Coach Hayes.’ I’m sitting in the back. Coach Hayes was not healthy at the time, but stands up and starts laying into the coaching staff about toughness. That we have no toughness in the program. That’s why we lost the game. On and on and screaming, this old guy pounding the table. He says, ‘We have no toughness, and the reason is because you’re not tough. No one on this staff is tough enough, and that’s a problem.’
“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.'”
Now, it should be noted that, according to OSU AD for communication Jerry Emig, the story was told by Meyer multiple times before, with Hayes’ name swapped with former Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce.
For the record: the joke is about Coach Earle Bruce, not Coach Hayes. It is an exaggeration! And it was exaggerated more than a year ago.
— Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) February 12, 2013
But in a story like that one, the name’s not as important as the message… I think?
(Hat tip: coachingsearch.com)