An ailing Woody Hayes, his voice halting and choked with emotion, got out of a wheelchair to accept the American Football Coaches Assn.'s Amos Alonzo Stagg Award for long and meritorious service.
Hayes, 72, who suffered a heart attack last fall and was accompanied by his physician and a heart specialist, received several standing ovations at the association's annual awards luncheon, a highlight of the group's convention in New Orleans.
Visibly moved, Hayes told the assembled coaches: "The coaching profession is so great, you don't appreciate it until you retire. I can't tell you how much this award means to me."
Hayes compiled a record of 238-72-10 in 33 seasons at Denison, Miami of Ohio and Ohio State, where he coached from 1951 through 1978. He ranks fifth on the all-time victory list, behind Eddie Robinson with 329, Paul (Bear) Bryant with 323, Stagg with 314 and Glenn (Pop) Warner with 313. His Ohio State teams won two national championships.