Throughout the recent history of Middle Tennessee track & field, there have been two constants - veteran coach Dean Hayes and a legacy of championship performances. A renowned track & field coach both in college and professional circles, Hayes has gained great respect since coming to Middle Tennessee 47 years ago.
His men's teams dominated the Ohio Valley Conference, and the women's teams duplicated that success after Hayes took over the program in 1987. Both squads have continued their success in the Sun Belt Conference, capturing 16 of the 42 indoor and outdoor titles for which they have been eligible since joining the league 11 years ago.
Overall, Hayes has guided the programs to 29 OVC titles, 17 Sun Belt championships, and 18 NCAA Top 25 finishes. 48 of his student-athletes have earned a total of 85 All-America honors, four have become national champions and a number of them have gone on to compete internationally in the Olympic Games, World University Games and Pan-American Games.
Hayes has added 15 Sun Belt Coach of the Year awards to complement his 15 OVC Coach of the Year honors, which includes 10 in a row from 1977 to 1986. He was inducted into the Blue Raider Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. In addition, Hayes became a member of the Illinois Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, and he was inducted into the Mason-Dixon Athletic Club Hall of Fame in March 2005.
Following the 1981 season, the Division I Track & Field Coaches Association voted Hayes the NCAA Outdoor Coach of the Year. Hayes then served as president of the TFCA in 1982-83.
After joining the Sun Belt full-time prior to the beginning of the 2000-01 academic year, Hayes and his staff were instrumental in helping Middle Tennessee capture the school's first Vic Bubas Cup - the league's all-sports trophy - in 2001, when the track programs won three SBC titles. The teams also played significant roles in Middle Tennessee winning the trophy in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011, as well.
Hayes' experience is not just limited to the collegiate level. He has also coached several teams sponsored by either the United States Olympic Committee or USA Track & Field. His international experience began at the first Olympic Sports Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1978. Since then, he has worked with a number of events, including the following: World University Games in Kobe, Japan (1985); Goodwill Games in Seattle (1990); World Cup in London (1994); World Championships in Athens, Greece (1997); Goodwill Games in New York (1998).
The Naperville, Ill., native also has served as an assistant at several international events. Aside from the first Olympic Sports Festival, Hayes worked as an assistant at the World University Games in Bucharest, Romania (1981); the World Championships in Helsinki (1983) and the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea (1988). He also acted as a referee at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Because of Hayes' international success, numerous international athletes have sought out Middle Tennessee as their college of choice.
Hayes' most successful student-athletes at Middle Tennessee have competed in the NCAA triple jump, an event in which Hayes specializes.
He coached NCAA champions Tommy Haynes (1974) and Barry McClure (1972, '73), as well as NCAA high hurdle champion Dionne Rose (1994). His most recent national champion is Mardy Scales, who won the 100-meter dash in 2003. Hayes also guided Roland McGhee to nine All-America honors, and both McClure and Greg Artis won All-America honors seven times.
Hayes earned his B.A. at Lake Forest (Ill.), where he competed in the 800-meters, the long jump and the triple jump, the latter an event in which he was an NCAA qualifier.
After earning his M.S. Ed. at Northern Illinois, Hayes began his coaching career at the high school level in Chicago where he coached for three years followed by spending one year in Minneapolis. He then jumped to the collegiate ranks at his alma mater, Lake Forest, before coming to Middle Tennessee in 1965.