Retired Ohio State Football Numbers

Here are all the retired Ohio State football jersey numbers and the dates in which they were retired. Ohio State has since announced there will not be any additional numbers retired. Hence the reason #10 has not been retired for the only Heisman Trophy winner not to have his number retired, Troy Smith.
#45 Archie Griffin (10/30/99)
#31 Vic Janowicz (9/23/00)
#40 Howard “Hopalong” Cassady (11/18/00)
#22 Leslie “Les” Horvath (10/6/01)
#27 Eddie George (11/10/01)
#47 “Chic” Harley (10/30/04)
WH Woody Hayes (9/10/05)
#99 Bill Willis (11/03/07)

Buckeye Leaf Helmet Stickers – How do the player’s get them?

Ok, here it is, a labor of love. This list took me about 8 hours to compile and put in a usable format. But, I think it will be an informative and entertaining resource.

The Buckeye Leaf sticker awards history has been detailed here : Buckeye Leaf

People still mistakenly call them just Buckeyes when in all actuality they are Buckeye leaves. The team uses black color leaves not green as they are commonly mistaken for.

Most of the head coaches have used their own system for determining how the players are awarded stickers. Tressel’s list is detailed below. I am not sure how Earle Bruce and John Cooper handed them out. But Woody’s stickers sure filled the helmet up a lot quicker then todays version:

The sticker awards is one of the most recognizable distinguishing marks separating the Buckeyes from all other teams. Other teams have tried to copy the helmet awards

but lets be honest, the Buckeyes have a one of kind tradition that isn’t going to work for any other team. Here is an ESPN article on just how ‘icon-ic’ this Buckeye tradition is ESPN Helmet Awards

Below is Tressel’s award criteria list. If you click on the picture it will bring up a larger more readable version of this list. Enjoy!

OSU Football Tradition 102 – The Skull Session

The Skull Session is a huge part of the game day experience on the Ohio State University Campus. It is an event that involves the team, the band and the fans. Fans pack St John’s arena every game day about 2 hours before the game. The band plays the fight songs getting the crowd hyped up. Coach will speak essentially giving a pep talk to the team and fans. And then as the players leave the arena they being the walk to the stadium to get ready for the game.

  • Started as the band’s warm-up routine.
  • Rounghly attended by average of 10,000 fans.
  • Coach Tressel began the tradition of bringing the team to the Skull Session in 2001.
  • Coach Tressel and a senior will speak to the crown at each Skull Session
  • At the conclusion, the team walks to the stadium and down the ramp, onto the locker room to being that game’s preperation.

Another Senior Tradition?


This story is interesting enough. Too bad I am still in the dumps from last Saturday’s game. I have already turned down 2 pairs of tickets for this week’s game. I guess people can’t give them away. I really wish I would have learned of this before “The Third Loss”. I think Tressel’s intention is deep here. He is way better at molding minds than Cooper ever wished to be. Hopefully his greatest coaching feat will be getting this team up for another game this season:

Buckeyes’ seniors losing their marbles

SEPTEMBER 4, 2008

COLUMBUS (AP) – By the end of the season, Ohio State senior tight end Rory Nichol will lose all his marbles.
“And hopefully we’ll play for all of them,” he said.
Shortly before the start of the season, coach Jim Tressel gave each of the Buckeyes’ seniors a case containing 12 marbles – one for each game. Some were scarlet, some were gray (representing the school colors) and one was blue for Michigan.
Before Saturday’s 43-0 victory over Youngstown State, each of the seniors gave Tressel one marble. It’s something they’ll do before each game.
“All year we’ve been talking about cherish each moment, cherish each game, don’t look at next year, don’t look at next game,” linebacker Marcus Freeman said. “We talk about having 12 opportunities. We’re not looking at a bowl game, we’re not looking at anything after the Michigan game.”
Most of the seniors keep a close watch on their marbles.
“I lock mine up in my locker,” Freeman said. “That’s something that means a lot. It probably didn’t cost that much to put together but it means a lot to our seniors. … You look at that and it really kind of hits you. That’s all the games we have left.”
James Laurinaitis, the Buckeyes’ Butkus Award-winning linebacker, said the message has gotten through.
“Every time you play a game you take one out, you see it getting smaller and smaller,” he said. “You have that mental picture: Your time’s running out.”
Tressel is continually trying to get his team to focus on the present and not look ahead. He gives his players inspirational books to read and phrases to memorize. A year ago, the code to unlock the doors at the team’s training facility was 4114, a bitter reminder of the 41-14 beating the Buckeyes took at the hands of Florida in the 2006 national championship game.
Laurinaitis said even though it seems like ages ago, he can remember how so many of the players he looked up to watched their careers dwindle away.
“I remember freshman year coach would always say, ‘These seniors here, A.J. Hawk and the others, they have a certain number of opportunities left in the ‘Shoe. Let’s give them your best,”‘ he said. “Then you finally realize, that’s me. That’s another world. You really start to truly appreciate every day.”
The third-ranked Buckeyes play Ohio on Saturday. A week later, they take on top-ranked Southern California. But the marbles for both games are the same size. Each is just one more mile post on the journey.
“When (Tressel) handed those to us, it really kind of took a lot of guys by surprise,” Nichol said. “You start to look at that little, tiny container that represents the rest of your career at Ohio State. The thing that we all said as seniors is that every week that we spend one of these marbles, we’re going to make sure we spend it the right way.”

OSU Football Tradition 101 – Buckeye Leaf Stickers

I will be doing a huge story on how the OSU players get Buckeyes for their helmets. Interesting because I found this story. Please feel free to comment:

Buckeye stickers a tradition 40 years in the making

By John D. Lukacs

The year was 1968 — that much of the story we know. According to Ohio State lore, the Buckeyes were on the cusp of a championship campaign when longtime trainer Ernie Biggs conceived of the idea of awarding players helmet stickers resembling buckeye leaves, presumably for motivational purposes.

Coach Woody Hayes embraced the idea and, 40 falls later, sticker-cluttered helmets across the country reveal that Biggs’ brainstorm has, well, stuck.
It’s the time of year when dog bones are appearing on Georgia’s helmets, paw prints on Clemson’s and tomahawks on those of Florida State, just to name a few. But it all started with those buckeye leaves. Which begs the question: why? The exact reason has been lost, perhaps in a cloud of dust, to history.

“Woody was always trying to get that extra motivational edge,” proposed Rex Kern, OSU’s quarterback during that magical fall of ’68.

In all likelihood, Hayes and Biggs reasoned that rewarding great plays provided incentive for more of the same. That rationale remains, yet like the Buckeyes’ uniforms, there have been some subtle changes to the tradition over the years.

Visibly, the stickers themselves have been reduced in size, and the criteria for receiving a buckeye has been considerably refined. Coach Jim Tressel favors a teamwork approach over an individual-based award system, which means that touchdowns and interceptions no longer necessarily guarantee a coveted sticker. Big plays are now solely considered such at Tressel’s discretion.

Every team member, however, receives a buckeye for each OSU win, plus an additional sticker for Big Ten victories. Entire units are eligible if they meet certain criteria. If the Buckeyes’ defense, for example, racks up at least five three-and-outs, each member receives a sticker. The Buckeyes’ offense, upon executing 10 plays which gain 12 or more yards, is rewarded similarly.

Individually, players accrue buckeyes by meeting the film-grade standards set for each position by the coaching staff. Linemen must grade out at 80 percent to receive a buckeye. Standards for linebackers and skill positions (such as running backs and defensive backs) are more stringent, requiring grades of 85 percent and 90 percent, respectively.

Special teams also figure prominently in the buckeye breakdown. Causing and/or recovering a fumble will earn a member of the punt or kickoff teams a buckeye. Successfully blocking a kick or converting a fake field goal also nets the unit a sticker. Kick a field goal from 45 yards or beyond? You guessed it — one buckeye.

Perhaps the most notable change from the Hayes era is the manner in which the stickers are distributed. Hayes was notoriously stingy with the leaves, so when it came time to award them, it was “a major production,” Kern recalled. A player was called up before the team during the Monday meeting, presented his buckeye leaves and slapped on the shoulders by a beaming Hayes.

Of course, what the famously mercurial Buckeyes boss giveth, he could — at least theoretically — taketh away.

“In true Woody Hayes fashion, he threatened to take [the buckeye leaves] away,” Kern said. “We thought it was tongue-in-cheek, but you never really knew”.

According to current equipment manager Lewis VanHoose, Tressel eschews Hayes’ Patton-esque theatrics. After the Sunday film review session, the coaches provide VanHoose with a master list detailing the number of buckeyes to be awarded that week. With little fanfare, he then painstakingly places the stickers on OSU’s shimmering silver helmets by hand.
As the season progresses, there is less and less space on the helmets; VanHoose estimates that one side of a helmet can hold approximately 35-40 stickers, a good half-season’s work for a solid player on a talented team. And there’s even less room for counting errors. The players, who scrutinize VanHoose’s handiwork with keen eyes, don’t need the board in the auxiliary lounge to keep track of how many buckeyes they have.

“People know,” VanHoose said.

That off-field competition for buckeye leaves continues to spur on-field production, just as Biggs and Hayes intended 40 years ago.

“You know, buckeyes tell a story,” VanHoose said. “You can kind of see that story as the season goes on.”

While one story unfolds in the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday night when Ohio State faces USC, another will peel, unpretentiously, into its fifth decade inside the equipment room back in Columbus on Monday morning.