KU Track Assistant Tom Hays Named 2011 National Collegiate Pole Vault Coach of the Year

Feb. 10, 2011


Even though the year is just over a month old, Kansas assistant track coach Tom Hays is making a name for himself as he was recently bestowed the 2011 National Collegiate Pole Vault Coach of the Year award given by USA Track and Field.

Hays, who was honored for the success he and his KU athletes achieved during the 2010 track and field season, received the award at the National Pole Vault Summit on January 29, 2011 in Reno, Nev. The Pole Vault Summit, which is held for only the top pole vaulters in the country, has been an ongoing event for the past 22 years.

“I definitely was surprised,” said Hays. “I was asked to speak at the National Pole Vault Summit and then when I got out there they ended up also giving me the award. It was a surprise, but certainly a great honor.”

The annual award is chosen by the developmental coordinator for USA pole vault and his/her committee.

“I feel extremely honored because it’s voted on by your peers,” said Hays. “It’s heartwarming to know those are the people who voted for me to be named coach of the year.”

In 2010, Kansas vaulter Jordan Scott won the NCAA Outdoor Championship. Along with that title, Scott was the Big 12 Champion in the indoor pole vault in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. He was also crowed the 2007 and 2010 outdoor conference champion.

Under Hays’ tutelage, Scott was named the Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Freshman Performer of the Year in 2007, and an All-American in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

“Jordan’s outstanding season was no doubt a big part of me being given this award,” said Hays. “It’s exciting for not only me but the whole Kansas program.”

Scott is not the only successful jumper Hays has coached in his time at Kansas. He also coached Kate Sultanova and Amy Linnen. Sultanova was a four-time All-American, won four Big 12 Championships, and owns a share of the school record for indoor pole vault. Linnen was a two-time indoor pole vault National Champion, a two-time All-American, and currently still holds the women’s NCAA Indoor collegiate pole vault record.