👟 Tom Hays Named USTFCCCA Men’s Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year
LAWRENCE, Kansas – Kansas track and field assistant coach Tom Hays was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) men’s Midwest Region Coach of the Year on Friday, marking his second career Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year honor.
Hays, now in his 16th year with the Jayhawks, guided the KU men’s pole vault unit to unprecedented heights in 2021. The Jayhawks became the first team with four pole vaulters over 18 feet in the same season in NCAA history. The four Jayhawks to clear the height earlier this season at the Rock Chalk Classic are: Zach Bradford, Hussain Al-Hizam, Kyle Rogers and Christian Champen.
Hays also guided the KU pole vault unit to score 27 points at the Big 12 Outdoor Championship in Manhattan, Kansas on May 16, the most in Big 12 history in the event. The Jayhawks were represented by four vaulters in the top five in the event, including Bradford, the eventual champion.
Under Hays’ tutelage, four Jayhawks qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary in College Station on May 26-29, where Bradford and Al-Hizam qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, to be competed in Eugene, Oregon on June 9-12. Since 2017, Hays has coached seven Jayhawks to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the men’s pole vault, tied for the most in the country.
Throughout his career, Hays has coached four National Champions in the pole vault, while coaching a Jayhawk to the Big 12 pole vault title in three of the last four outdoor seasons. In 2011, Hays was named the National Collegiate Pole Vault Coach of the Year after coaching Jordan Scott to the 2010 NCAA Outdoor title in the event.