John Hayes enters his first season as an assistant coach with the Air Force track and field team. In addition to his coaching duties with the program's middle distance and distance runners, Hayes is the head coach of the Air Force cross country team.
Prior to his appointment at the Academy, Hayes served in the same capacity at Northern Arizona University. During his three years with the Lumberjacks, Hayes coached six individual NCAA champions and nine All-Americans. A two-time Big Sky Conference cross country coach of the year, Hayes guided his teams to four Big Sky titles, while accounting for five of six individual titles. Under Hayes' direction, Johanna Nilsson won NCAA cross country championship title and was named NCAA Cross Country Athlete of the Year.
Backed by Hayes' athletes, the NAU women won both the indoor and outdoor Big Sky Conference championships in 2006. Johanna Nilsson claimed NCAA championship titles in the indoor mile and 3,000-meter run, on route to being named NCAA Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. One year earlier, Hayes coached Ida Nilsson to an NCAA indoor championship title in the 5,000-meter run.
In his final season with the Lumberjacks, Hayes coached three NCAA cross country championship qualifiers, while helping the men's track and field team to the Big Sky outdoor title. He also coached Lopez Lomong to NCAA titles in the indoor 3000- and the outdoor 1500-meter runs.
Hayes joined NAU following a three-year stint at the University of Texas, where he served as the head coach for the women's cross country team and an assistant coach for the track team. While at Texas, he guided the Longhorns to three consecutive NCAA cross country championship appearances and a regional team title in his final season.
In his first season at Texas, Hayes led the Longhorns' cross country team to a third-place finish at the Big XII Championships - the highest Big XII finish in UT history - and a second-place showing at the NCAA South Central Regional. In his last season at Texas, Hayes led the team to a third straight NCAA appearance and UT's first regional/district title since 1988. His team's stunning two-point victory at the NCAA South Central Championships that year earned him South Central Region Coach of the Year honors.
On the track, Hayes' athletes helped lead UT to four Big XII Conference championship titles (two indoor and two outdoor), with 26 all-conference performances and two individual conference champions. His athletes set school records in four events as he sent five individual qualifiers to the NCAA Championships. Hayes was also an assistant on the staff that led UT to six top-15 team finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a second-place finish at the 2003 NCAA outdoor track championships.
Prior to his move to Texas, Hayes served as head cross country and assistant track coach at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. During his career with the Tigers, Hayes directed the men to three top-three showings at the Division II Southeast Regional Championships. He had a profound affect on the distance program at Morehouse as well, coaching athletes to 20 All-America honors over the three-year span and breaking school records in 12 different events.
An accomplished runner in his own right, Hayes was a scoring member of the U.S. Military Academy's team at the 1986 NCAA cross country championships. In 1987, he moved on to the University of Georgia, where he served as team captain during his junior and senior seasons. Hayes continued to train and compete after college, finishing first among American competitors at the 1994 Armed Forces World Cross Country Championships. He has also coached former UT walk-on turned All-American Talis Apud-Martinez in her professional duathlon/triathlon career, highlighted in 2005 by first-place finishes at the Pan-American Duathlon Championships and U.S. National Championships.
Hayes, a native of Randolph, N.J., received a bachelor's degree in statistics at the University of Georgia, before completing the Defense Language Institute's Russian Language School in Monterey, Calif., and serving as a Russian linguist in the U.S. Army. Hayes is married to the former Stacey Dickson, whom he first met on the Air Force Academy track 14 years ago. She is a Colorado Springs native (Liberty High School), who competed at the collegiate level for the Colorado State University track and field team. The couple has a two-year old son, Christian.