George Steinbrenner is famously known the world over as the owner of the New York Yankees but very few people realize that in the 1950s George Steinbrenner actually served as an assistant coach under legendary Buckeye icon Woody Hayes at Ohio State University (OSU for short). In fact, George was even part of the 1954 Ohio State national championship team that went undefeated.
The New York Yankees organization that Steinbrenner has owned for decades has been valued by Forbes magazine as a $1.5 billion organization which makes it one of the five most valuable sports teams in the world across all sports. Before making his fortune in the family shipping business he lived a somewhat pedestrian life that included college, a stint in the Air Force, marriage, and a brief spell as an assistant football coach at Ohio State. In some regards George Steinbrenner has had an almost Forest Gump type life that has involved playing on his college football team, joining the armed forces, falling in love, making a fortune, numerous chance encounters with historically iconic figures, and a variety of unique business ventures.
Born in Rocky River, Ohio on the northern edge of the state the area that is now an affluent suburb of Cleveland is the area where George grew up before attending a military school in northern Indiana. After graduating from Williams College in Massachusetts in 1952 and spending a couple of years in the Air Force based in Columbus, Ohio at Lockbourne Air Force Base the Ohio native decided to stay in the area following his honorable discharge in 1954. Over the next two years Steinbrenner earned a master’s degree in physical education from nearby Ohio State University.
While doing graduate work at Ohio State George Steinbrenner signed on to help the football team as a graduate assistant where he happened to coach under legendary college football coach Woody Hayes. During the one season that George was with the Buckeyes the team went undefeated with a perfect 10-0 record that included a 20-7 Rose Bowl victory over the University of Southern California (USC) on January 1, 1955.
By capping off a perfect season with a sound Rose Bowl victory Woody Hayes, George Steinbrenner, and the rest of the Ohio State Buckeyes edged out number two ranked UCLA to capture the second football national championship for the Buckeyes ever. In addition to the seven World Series victories (1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009) that George Steinbrenner has been a part of as an owner of the New York Yankees since January 3, 1973 the man who was born back on July 4, 1930 can also claim a college football national championship from the 1954 season with iconic College Football Hall of Fame coach Woody Hayes.
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by Kim Patel