Woody Hayes once turned Mark Dantonio into an autograph hunter.

Michigan State hosts No. 2 Ohio State this weekend, and Dantonio was asked if he ever met Hayes. That led to a funny story Tuesday from the Michigan State coach, who has plenty of ties to Ohio State.

Dantonio was a graduate assistant at Ohio State during the mid-1980s, and he said he saw Hayes after a game once. Hayes' run as Ohio State's coach was over by then, but he was around.

"I was one of the last ones walking back up into the locker room and everybody was gone pretty much, and there was just Coach Hayes sitting there on the bench," Dantonio said. "So I walked in and just sort of _ 'How you doing?' _ you know? And I think I had a program in my hand, and just being a GA, I said, 'Do you mind signing this?' So I think I still have that program."

 

Now Dantonio is building his own legacy as a Big Ten coach. He was asked what he'd do if a graduate assistant asked him for an autograph.

"I'd laugh," he said. "Say, 'Get out of here.'"