The legend of Woody Hayes needs no further embellishment at this point. Stories about the iconic Ohio State coach and his approach to the game and life abound.
But there might not be another story quite like the one Urban Meyer recently shared about Hayes.
The current Buckeyes coach attended the Ohio coaches convention over the weekend, and CoachingSearch.com's Chris Vannini transcribed this tale that Meyer spun for the crowd.
"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 eff'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.'"
Click on the link above for video proof of Meyer telling the story. It's around the 3:00 mark.
UPDATE: Meyer told the same story at the same event last year, only it was Bruce who, uh, used the turtle as a prop (you can view it around the 10:40 mark here). Is there any truth in this tale? Well, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.