Beyond the Gridiron: The Life and Times of Woody Hayes

Network: Public Broadcasting


  • Emmy, Best Sports Program
  • Emmy, Music 
  • Telly, Best Documentary for a TV or Cable Program
  • New York Film Festival, Bronze – Best Documentary

A co-production with Duncan Entertainment

Beyond the Gridiron: The Life and Times of Woody Hayes is the most in depth profile ever produced on one of the most gifted and complex coaches of the 20th century. Woody Hayes enjoyed a long and acclaimed career as the head football coach of the Ohio State University Buckeyes. Many college coaches of the modern era trace their coaching inspiration back to Hayes including current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and former OSU head coach Jim Tressel. The documentary will give viewers an inside look at a man whom many consider one of the greatest college football coach of all time. But the documentary is far from a highlights film and provide insights into Hayes' politics, values and influences.

The show features interviews with former OSU head football coach Jim Tressel, golfing legend and OSU alumnus Jack Nicklaus, two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin of Ohio State, and former players Greg Lashutka, Rex Kern, Daryl Sanders, and Alan Natali author of Woody's Boys.

Also interviewed was former Michigan head football coach Bo Schembechler. Bo played for Woody at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and then became an assistant coach for Hayes. When Bo was named head football coach at Michigan in 1969 it began what many would call the greatest rivalry in college football. One notable period, the years between 1969 and 1978, is regarded as the "Ten-Year War.
Musical composition was created by acclaimed musician David Barrett (“One Shining Moment” CBS Sports).

Beyond the Gridiron does what Hayes asked his biographer, Paul Hornung, to do; "Like Oliver Cromwell, I'll give you permission...provided you paint me warts and all."

Running time:  56 minutes