Newcomerstown, Ohio - A new statue in downtown Newcomerstown will serve as a permanent tribute to one of the town’s favorite sons.
On Saturday, August 18, the town will welcome Ohio State Buckeyes fans from around the state as it unveils a life-size statue of legendary head football coach Woody Hayes.
The $40,000 statue was funded entirely by donations from Ohio State football fans across the country as a result of an online fundraising campaign launched by the Eleven Warriors blogging community.
“A couple of their guys last summer came to visit the museum because they heard that Woody Hayes memorabilia was there, and when they were done with their tour, they asked the museum, ‘Did you ever want to have a statue?’ Of course, they said yes, but we just can’t afford it,” said Newcomerstown Mayor Pat Cadle. “They started a GoFundMe page, and by January they had $22,000 of the $40,000 they needed, and by May 1, it just rolled and they had $40,000 and it was a done deal.”
The unveiling of the statue is being planned in conjunction with the town’s Gateway to Fall Festival and is expected to draw a crowd of 750 to 1,000 people.
A dedication ceremony featuring speeches from Woody’s son Steven Hayes and several former players is planned for 1 p.m. at Lee Stadium. Also scheduled to appear is former Ohio State player and two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, who finished his career as the school’s all-time leading rusher.
Village residents are being asked to clean up their yards and decorate their homes with scarlet and gray and Ohio State memorabilia in preparation for the festivities.
“When those football players come, I’d like anybody that has any kind of flag or something to put in the window, blow up, Brutus Buckeye, to show what pride we have in being the home of Woody Hayes but also the pride we have in ourselves and our town. We expect that to be a big day, and it’s going to be a big celebration,” Cadle said.
Following the ceremony, the statue will be transported to its permanent home on Canal Street between the Temperance Tavern and Main Street Museum.