Legendary track coach Dean Hayes dies aged 84



Dean hayes, the legendary track and field coach of the Blue Raiders for 57 years and pioneer, has passed away.

Hayes, 84, passed away peacefully with his family by his side at St. Thomas Hospital on Friday afternoon.

Dean hayes was a champion in many ways: as a father, mentor and role model, a world-class recruiter and a winning coach at the highest level, ”said President Sidney A. McPhee. “Dean was a living legend. I speak on behalf of Elizabeth and my family, as well as all of the Blue Raiders, expressing our deepest condolences to Jan and all of her family. “

A family spokesperson said there will be a private funeral for the family only; however, plans are underway for a celebration of life that will be open to the public. The date and time of the celebration of life are to be determined.

“Words cannot express what Dean hayes has meant for MTSU, the MTSU Track and Field Program, international athletics and the thousands of people whose lives he has impacted through his work, ”said athletic director Chris Massaro. “He’s on Mount Rushmore in Middle Tennessee, and not just in track and field. Coach Hayes was a pioneer and an institution at MTSU. He will be sadly missed by the community, the University and all of his former student-athletes and Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jan and daughters Erin and Kara. “

Throughout the recent history of Middle Tennessee athletics, there have been two constants – veteran coach Hayes and a legacy of championship performance.

Overall, Hayes has guided programs to 29 OVC titles, 19 Sun Belt Championships, and 20 NCAA Top 25 rankings. Fifty-three of its student-athletes have won a total of 125 All-America accolades, five have become six-time National Champions and a number of them have competed in international competitions at the Olympics, World University Games, at the World Championships, to goodwill. Games, Pan-American Games and African Championships.

In Conference USA, Hayes won seven titles, five with the women and two with the men’s team. Most recently, he swept the 2021 men’s and women’s cross country championships.

Her men’s teams dominated the Ohio Valley Conference, and the women’s teams replicated that success after Hayes took over the program in 1987. Both teams continued their success in the Sun Belt Conference, winning 19 of the 51 indoor and outdoor titles for which they were eligible. to earn.

Hayes added four USA Conference Coach of the Year honors, 15 Sun Belt Coach of the Year awards to round out his 15 OVC Coach of the Year honors, including 10 consecutive from 1977 to 1986. He was inducted into the Blue Raider Hall of Fame in 1982 and Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. In addition, Hayes became a member of the Illinois Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, of the Mason-Dixon Athletic Club Hall of Fame in March 2005, of the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame in 2008., the Lake Forest College Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Naperville Hall of Fame in 2019.

After the 1981 season, the Division I Track and Field Coaching Association elected Hayes NCAA Outdoor Coach of the Year. Hayes then served as president of the TFCA in 1982-83.

After joining the Sun Belt full-time before the start of the 2000-01 school year, Hayes and his team were instrumental in helping Middle Tennessee win the school’s first Vic Bubas Cup – the league’s all-sport trophy. – in 2001, when the track programs won three SBC titles. The teams also played an important role in Middle Tennessee winning the trophy in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011, as well.

Hayes’ experience was not limited only to the college level. He has also coached many international teams, whether sponsored by the United States Olympic Committee, USA Track & Field or an international federation. His international experience began with the first Olympic Sports Festival in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1978. Since then he has coached numerous international teams including: World University Games in Kobe, Japan (1985); Goodwill Games in Seattle (1990); World Cup in London (1994); World Championships in Athens, Greece (1997); the Goodwill Games in New York (1998) and the Ghanaian international team at the senior championships in Durban, South Africa (2016).

The Naperville, Ill. Native has also been an assistant at several international events. Besides the first Olympic Sports Festival, Hayes worked as an assistant at the World University Games in Bucharest, Romania (1981); at the World Championships in Helsinki (1983) and coached for the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea (1988). He also acted as a referee at the Atlanta Summer Olympics (1996).

Due to Hayes’ international success, many international athletes over the years have chosen Middle Tennessee as their college of choice.

Hayes’ most successful student-athletes in Middle Tennessee have competed in the NCAA triple jump, an event Hayes specializes in.

He coached NCAA Champions Tommy Haynes (1974) and Barry McClure (1972, ’73), as well as NCAA Champion Dionne Rose (1994). In 2003 he coached national champion Mardy Scales, who won the 100 meters. His most recent national champion was Kigen Chemadi, who won the 3,000m steeplechase in 2021. Hayes also guided Roland McGhee to nine All-America honors, and McClure and Greg Artis have won All-America honors seven times.

Hayes received his BA from Lake Forest College, Illinois, where he competed in the 800 meters, long jump and triple jump, the latter being an event in which he qualified for the NCAA.

After earning his MS Ed. In Northern Illinois, Hayes began his high school coaching career in Chicago where he coached for three years, followed by one year in Minneapolis. He then rose through the college ranks at his alma mater, Lake Forest, before coming to Middle Tennessee in 1965.

Hayes is survived by his wife, Jan, and daughters, Erin and Kara, and sister, Judy. The family are happy to receive any stories, messages or thoughts at [email protected]