Praise for The Road to the Horseshoe and Beyond

The Road to the Horseshoe and Beyond is filled with stories and insights from people throughout Rex’s life—before Ohio State and after. He is grateful to have received the following reflections and outstanding quotes in support of his work from many of his friends, mentors, and heroes.

“I think the race chapter was very well done. Hopefully, others will read the book and realize race issues are not rocket science. It’s about compassion and caring for your fellow man. Glad to endorse the book.”

—ARCHIE GRIFFIN, Ohio State football, 1972-1975, All-American 1973-1975, Heisman Trophy winner, 1974-1975.

“Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye!

“No matter where I’ve traveled or lived, my roots always stretch back to my home state of Ohio, often with some tie to The Ohio State University. I prided myself on being a Buckeye football fan since the age of six and missed only one game until the age of twenty. My love for OSU football never died, nor did the memories of the greats who played there. Any such list is not complete without Rex Kern, the three-sport star who was the Buckeyes’s quarterback in the late 1960s and was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Rex took OSU to an undefeated season and national title in 1968, punctuated in the Rose Bowl, where he famously beat O. J. Simpson’s University of Southern California team.

“Just as my life was impacted in many ways by OSU’s legendary football coach Woody Hayes—a great friend to our family when I was growing up—so too was Rex’s life influenced and shaped by Woody.

“While Rex and I went to Ohio State at different times, our paths crossed many times throughout the years. I have always had great respect and admiration for Rex, for both the way he handled himself and the way he was revered by all Buckeye fans.

“There are so many common threads in our respective lives, but if there is one important one that binds us, it is that Rex and I have allowed our lives to be shaped and inspired by family, faith, our love of country, and yes, our love of being Buckeyes. In his book, The Road to the Horseshoe and Beyond, Rex takes us on the journey of his remarkable life. Along the way, you might learn a little about leading a life well lived, but also, when you reflect on your own life, what you should appreciate and hold dear.”

—JACK NICKLAUS, Buckeye great and PGA legend with an unmatched 18 major titles.

“I really enjoyed this book on many levels. The obvious backstage pass to his playing days in high school, college, and the NFL . . . especially the magical 1968 Championship season . . . the Woody Hayes stories that shed light on the legendary and yet complicated man . . . Rex’s love and devotion to God and his family . . . and the countless examples of mental and physical toughness, love, compassion, empathy, and selflessness.”

—KIRK HERBSTREIT, Ohio State quarterback and football analyst at ESPN.

“Rex has many fine qualities but the first word that comes to mind when I think of Rex is INTEGRITY. Rex has been a great friend to our family and that friendship is reciprocated.

“I enjoyed reading The Road to the Horseshoe and Beyond. It gives the reader a glimpse into Rex’s whole life, not just his time as an athlete. He didn’t pull any punches, which brings me back to that word INTEGRITY.

“I had no idea that Rex was such a gifted writer. So Rex, can I suggest a departure to fiction? Perhaps a football mystery? With great affection,”

—STEVE HAYES, son of Woody and Anne Hayes.

“This book is much more than a dissertation about sports. Yes, you will enjoy many entertaining and fascinating sports stories, especially those about the legendary Woody Hayes. But, as you read this book, be ready for a battle—actually, be ready for several battles. Not only will you learn about Rex’s personal battles in sports and life and how he overcame them, but you will learn how his life experiences, which are built upon the foundation of faith and the bedrock of ‘being your best in everything,’ can help all of us navigate life’s many battles.

“So, put on your battle gear and enjoy an inspirational story about an all-American kid who became an All-American example of a life worth emulating.”

—JERRY LUCAS, Ohio State basketball, 1960-61-62, champion at every level of basketball, two-time NCAA Player of the Year, Memory Expert.

“I have long admired Rex Kern from the time I met him in 1990 as I assumed the presidency of The Ohio State University. Kind, thoughtful, devoted to family and the Buckeyes. I started to read his book out of friendship and obligation. I finished his book with a real sense of joy and inner peace. This book is worth reading because it is an American story, forged in the heartland of this country and buttressed with compassion, steel, and common sense.”

—E. GORDON GEE, President, The Ohio State University, 1990-1997.

“Rex Kern’s Buckeye roots run deep into his soul, but I’m a former Baltimore Colt, and we claim him too. Rex is a champion, a leader, a man of epic character and integrity; every one of those ingredients was apparent from the first day he reported to the Baltimore Colts.

“He had an aura. He was special, as a person as much as an athlete. He led Ohio State to a National Championship, but he had a fine NFL career as well.

“Reading this book of his life’s experiences was a joy.”

—ERNIE ACCORSI, General Manager, Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants.

“Take Woody’s advice this time—don’t PASS on this book! Dr. Rex Kern, by all accounts, has had a fascinating and consequential life. Ohio State University sports fans are very familiar with his heroic efforts in that arena, but his experiences prior to that, as well as off the field and after his football career, lend themselves to insightful and very interesting stories. This is a fun read which also is most instructive in terms of life’s lessons!”

—JEFF KAPLAN, former member of Coach Hayes’s coaching staff, then his “brain coach,” OSU Senior Vice President/Executive Officer, and current OSU trustee.

“What an extraordinary gift! What started out as a recollection of stories has turned into a jam-packed book full of unforgettable basketball and football moments played at the highest level by a gifted young athlete from Lancaster, Ohio, and so much more. This book is also a refreshing reminder of what is important in life. As one of Buckeye Nation’s most celebrated athletes, family, friends, and fans will enjoy reading Rex Kern’s remarkable tales of incredible wins, painful losses, and excruciating injuries. Fortunately for us, Rex takes us on this journey and in doing so passes along the wisdom of faith, humility, character, honor, and trust that were passed along to him by his family, his teammates, his coaches, and his staunchest supporters.”

—ELLEN HAVENS HARDYMON, daughter of Jack Havens, business partner, and friend for life.

“The chapter on race is worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.”

LARRY HISLE, two sport prep All-American, thirteen-year MLB player, two-time All Star, Director of Youth Mentoring, Milwaukee Brewers.

“Due to personal issues as a junior, I was late going out for the football team. My teammates had run their mile in qualifying time. I had to run alone, except when I arrived, Rex was there to pace me. He ran a second time so I only had to run once. That meant the world to me. I made my time by four seconds.”

—TIM BAILEY, Lancaster High School football teammate.


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