Woody Hayes is a bit of an eccentric personality. The famed Ohio State Buckeyes head coach won plenty of football games and is considered a coaching legend, but is probably best distinguished by his antics and demeanor.
So this tall tale from current Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer shouldn't be too surprising (and yes, this story has been told before about other coaches before). Chris Vannini of CoachingSearch.com transcribes this story from Meyer at an Ohio coaches' convention about Hayes and a turtle, and certainly not the turtle Ohio State shares with Illinois:
"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.'"
For those who don't believe the transcript, here's the video.
Woody Hayes was advocating for Maryland to the Big Ten long before anyone else was.