Remembering Willie Young, Sr.

Willie Young, Sr. was a Buckeye legend, a trusted friend, advisor to many and an advocate for all Ohio State students. Having been with the university since 1990, Willie leaves a legacy that will never be forgotten.

Pay tribute to Willie's legacy by sharing your favorite memories, photos and nickname with us.

Share your memories


Michael Byrd
Nicknamed by Willie as: Rollo
I met Willie around 1988 at Wilberforce University. I was his administrative assistant. We went from strangers to great friends. He was a huge Sanford & Son fan and I was dubbed Rollo! One year for his birthday Jeff King, dubbed Petey Wheatstraw by Mr. Young, and myself met at Wendy’s for lunch. While there we presented him with a rare collector’s piece of sports memorabilia. It was a glass encased autographed baseball dated 1947 and signed by Jacky Robinson. If you’ve seen that episode on Sanford & Son you know the joke. In all the years I’ve known him, I never heard him laugh so hard. I’m just learning they renamed the building for him, which is well deserved. Thank you for that because there will NEVER be another person more deserving. “Will Kick” I truly miss you my friend.
Cheryl Lyons
Nicknamed by Willie as: Runnin' Rebel
Willie Young was an Assistant Director in Residence Life when I joined their office in 1997. I moved from the west coast and was told to ship all my belongings in "c/o Willie Young". I still have boxes in my house with his name on them! Willie dubbed me "Runnin' Rebel" because I attended UNLV and I was there when we won the NCAA basketball title in 1990. Willie was always so kind and conversational. He always had wonderful perspectives to share, great quotes, and lots of trivia! Willie and I had lunch together several times recently and he even helped me find tickets to the last OSU vs. UNLV football game. Willie gave so much of his heart, time, and talent to Ohio State and to our students. I miss you dearly, Willie!
Michael Caruso
I am deeply saddened by the news of Willie Young Sr.'s passing. I first met Willie as a transfer student from Columbus State and he personally made my transfer to Ohio State feel very special. He would often talk about sports with my Dad and I remember being absolutely enamored the day Willie took me to see his office. Seeing all of his sports memorabilia and hearing him talk about the athletes he admired was such a thrilling experience. I always made an effort to chat with Willie during my days on campus, and he always made me feel like a member of the Buckeye community. I offer my sincere condolences to Willie's family and I am extremely grateful for getting to know him. Rest in Peace Willie Young Sr.
Margaret Bussard
Nicknamed by Willie as: World Traveler
Willie always asked where I was traveling next, and was always interested. He could find common ground with everyone I ever saw him interact with. He was the kindest soul I've had the pleasure of knowing. He would be happy to know that I've decided to sell my house upon retirement so I can travel this great country for a few years. The thought of him always has, and always will, make me smile.
Tatyana Mason
Nicknamed by Willie as: Hot pants
I worked with Willie for 4 years during my time at Ohio State. He was one of the most positive, optimistic, amazing leaders that I’ve ever met. His smile, instantly cheered my day up. He was full of so much wisdom and light, he really made an impact on my career. Willie gave me so many nicknames throughout the years I can’t remember them all ??. “Hot pants” was the most memorable because he saw me on high street one night, clearly after hours with my friends and I was wearing ...I guess some hot pants! His jokes, his nicknames, his laugh was so contagious. He was so full of joy and life. Willie will be missed dearly. Thank you for all that you’ve done!


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