Jim Tressel Or Woody Hayes? Who's the Best Coach In Ohio St. Buckeye History?
When it comes to college football, year after year the Ohio St. Buckeyes find themselves as one of the elite teams. The players are obviously one of the main reasons why Buckeyes have so much success, however the players only last four years maximum.
The reason the Ohio St. Buckeyes find themselves at the top of the rankings year after year is coaching.
With this said, I am going to rank all of the head coaches in Ohio St. Buckeyes football history. I will do this by putting these coaches in four different classes-Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D and the Top Class. These rankings will be based off of win percentage, wins, loses, and the impact the coach had for the football program.
The Bottom Of The Food Chain: Worst Coaches In Ohio St. Buckeye History
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What defines a bad coach for any sport is someone with a losing record—although the Buckeyes do not have many coaches of this caliber—and a coach that can not lead their team to the playoffs. In college football's case it would be a bowl game.
These five coaches had little success for the Ohio St. Buckeyes, which is why I consider them in Class D in my power rankings.
From worst coach to best:
22. David F. Edwards (1897) 1 win, 7 loses, 1 tie, .167 winning percentage.
21. Alexander S. Lilley (1890-1891) 3 wins, 5 loses, .375 winning percentage.
20. Charles A. Hickey (1896) 5 wins, 5 loses, 1 tie, .500 winning percentage.
19. Paul O. Bixler (1946) 4 wins, 3 loses, two ties, .556 winning percentage.
18. Jack Ryder (1892-1895, 1898) 21 wins, 22 loses, 2 ties, .479 winning percentage.
Ohio St. Buckeye Coaches Moving Up The Charts
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These next coaches for the Ohio St. Buckeyes are much better than the last five coaches. However, with the standard set so high at Ohio St., these coaches are still considered not Buckeye quality.
Here is the Class C coaches in this power ranking:
17. Harry Vaughn (1911) 5 wins, 3 loses, 2 ties, .600 winning percentage.
16. E.R. Sweetland (1904-1905) 14 wins, 7 loses, 2 ties, .652 winning percentage.
15. John R. Richards (1912) 6 wins, 3 loses, .667 winning percentage.
14. Howard Jones (1910) 6 wins, 1 lose, 3 ties, .750 winning percentage.
13. Percy Hale (1902-1903) 14 wins, 5 loses, 2 ties, .714 winning percentage.
Ohio St. Buckeyes Finding Their Tradition
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With these next batch of coaches, the Ohio St. Buckeyes are starting to get some attention, although they aren't quite at the national level yet. These next five coaches pave the way for the greats that have coached at Ohio St.
Some of these next coaches crack the top 10 of the all-time best coaches in Ohio St. football history.
Class B coaches in order from worst to best:
12. Sam S. Willaman (1929-1933) 26 wins, 10 loses, 5 ties, .695 winning percentage.
11. A.E. Hernstein (1906-1909) 28 wins, 10 loses, 1 tie, .731 winning percentage.
10. Francis A. Schmidt (1934-1940) 39 wins, 16 loses, 1 tie, .705 winning percentage.
9. John B. Eckstorm (1899-1901) 22 wins, 4 loses, 3 ties, .810 winning percentage
8. Caroll C. Widdeos (1944-1945) 16 wins, 2 loses, .889 winning percentage. Caroll led number 2 Ohio St. to an undefeated season in 1944.
The Coaches That Put Ohio St. Buckeyes Football On The Map
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These next five coaches are the reason why the Ohio St. Buckeyes have the phenomenal legacy that they do. Teams do not get ranked in the top 25 year after year without a great tradition; this tradition starts with coaching.
These next coaches are the reason Ohio St. has won National Championships.
Class A coaches in Buckeye football history:
7. Wesley E. Fesler (1947-1950) 21 wins, 13 loses, 3 ties, .608 winning percentage. Fesler accomplished a Big Ten championship and led his team to a victory in the Rose Bowl.
6. Earle Bruce (1979-1987) 81 wins, 26 loses, 1 tie, .755 winning percentage.
5. John W. Wilce (1913-1928) 78 wins, 33 loses, 9 ties, .688 winning percentage. Wilce led the Buckeyes to three conference championship.
4. Paul E. Brown (1941-1943) 18 wins, 8 loses, 1 tie, .685 winning percentage. Brown led the Ohio St. Buckeyes to their first National Championship and an NFL team was named after him, hence the Cleveland Browns.
3. John Cooper (1988-2001) 111 wins, 34 loses, 4 ties, .702 winning percentage. Cooper led the Buckeyes to victory in the Rose Bowl in 1996.
The Top Two Coaches In Ohio St. Buckeye History
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I am pretty sure just about any big sports fan could have guessed these next two coaches, but the order of them may surprise most. These two coaches are the reason why Ohio St. Buckeyes are ranked in the top 10 year after year.
These two coaches belong in their own class, that is why they are in the Top Class.
The top two coaches in Ohio St. football history are:
2. W.W. (Woody) Hayes (1951-1987) 205 wins, 61 loses, 10 ties, .761 winning percentage. Hayes led his team to 6 bowl wins, 3 National Championships, and 13 Big Ten Titles.
1. Jim Tressel (2001-present) 106 wins, 22 loses, .828 winning percentage. In just his second year coaching for the Buckeyes, Jim Tressel coached the Buckeyes to a 14-0 season and they won the National Championship. Tressel is 6-4 in Bowl games, he has won the Big Ten Title in 2002, and every season since 2005, and he has a 5-3 record in BCS Bowl games.
Perhaps the most important stat for any Buckeye, Jim Tressel has a 9-1 record against their arch rival Michigan. These numbers are only going to go up for Tressel. He is not only the best coach for the Buckeyes in history, but can be considered with the bests ever in college football history.