Coming Back To Ram Country

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: October 31, 2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Bill Hayes, whose career in college sports spans 36 years, has been named the new athletic director for Winston-Salem State University.

He will begin work at WSSU on January 1, 2010.

Hayes is currently athletic director at Florida A&M University and was head football coach at WSSU for 12 seasons, during which the team won three CIAA championships.

“We are absolutely delighted that Bill has agreed to come home to Winston-Salem State,” said Chancellor Donald J. Reaves. “We conducted an extensive search to find the right person with the right credentials who would be able to immediately make a difference in our athletic program.”

“Bill Hayes certainly fits that description. I am truly delighted that he has accepted our offer, and I want to thank the search committee and its chair, Dr. Dennis Felder.”

“Over the years, Bill has maintained ties with the university and with our community,” Reaves added. “Having him in this key position will certainly support our efforts to build our athletic program to the championship level.”

“As a former athlete and coach, I have an abiding passion for athletics and the betterment of our young people through sports,” Hayes said. “Also, having worked at WSSU under the legendary Clarence ‘Big House’ Gaines years ago, I have a true appreciation for the great tradition of Rams’ sports.”

Hayes joined Florida A&M in January 2008 after serving as athletic director at North Carolina Central University for nearly five years. He also served as head football coach at N.C. A&T State University for 15 years after leaving WSSU in 1987.

In addition to posting the most wins of any football coach at both WSSU and N.C. A&T, he led major fundraising efforts during his tenure as athletic director at both Florida A&M and N.C. Central.

Hayes also served as an assistant football coach at Wake Forest University for three seasons, becoming the first African American assistant coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

A member of the Sports Halls of Fame for both WSSU and N.C. Central, he was also inducted in the CIAA Hall of Fame. Hayes has been active in the Boy Scouts of America and received its highest regional award for a volunteer in 2001.

He was selected as MEAC Football Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1999 and was CIAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2006 and 2007.

“Based on Bill Hayes’ track record, I feel confident that he will make a major contribution to our athletic program immediately,” said Felder. “I was, however, extremely impressed with the number and the quality of the applicants for the athletic director position.”

“We had applicants from all levels of athletic programs, from large and small schools, and from public and private institutions. To me, that illustrates the reputation and tradition that WSSU has in academics and athletics.”

The selection committee, which included faculty, students, staff and four alumni members, worked over the last six months to fill this position from among more than 175 expressions of interests, nominations and applications.