Former NC State tennis coach takes vacant job at Troy State

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 19, 2002

Eric Hayes, who revived North Carolina State’s men’s tennis program and led it back into national contention, has been named as Troy State’s new head men’s and women’s tennis coach.

"I am excited about this opportunity," Hayes said. "I appreciate the administration for giving me the chance to create what I think will be one of the most rapidly improving tennis programs in the country."

Hayes served as head men’s tennis coach at NC State from 1996 to this past season, compiling a 63-113 record. He guided the team to the 1999 NCAA Championship for the first time in 21 years. His team was ranked as high as No. 21 in the nation that year. That year’s team produced the school’s first winning record in 11 years. During Hayes’ tenure, he produced one All-American, one conference player of the year, five all-conference players and 18 conference all-academic performers. Hayes also was a member of the NCAA National Tennis Committee in 1998-1999 and a six-year member of the Region II NCAA committee in charge of selecting regional participants and individual selections for the NCAA Championships.

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Prior to his seven years at N.C. State, Hayes served as head men’s tennis coach at South Florida from 1989-1992, compiling a 33-31 record. His 1990 squad won the Sun Belt Conference Championship. That year Hayes was named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year and Region III Coach of the Year.

Hayes began his head coaching career at Kansas, where he was the head women’s tennis coach from 1988-1989, compiling a 27-20 record over two seasons. At the age of 23, Hayes was the youngest head coach in the Big Eight Conference in any sport. During his time at Kansas, Hayes had five players make the Academic-All-Big Eight team.

"Coach Hayes’ record speaks for itself," Troy State Athletics Director Johnny Williams said. "Winning and Coach Hayes go hand in hand. There is no doubt he is the right choice to lead this program in the right direction."

A Suffern, N.Y., native, Hayes played four years at Carson Newman College, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in political science. He was a four-year all-conference selection during his career. As a senior, he earned NAIA honorable mention All-America honors.

Hayes takes over a program that saw the men’s squad finish the season with a 7-9 record in 2002. The women’s program finished the year with a 19-3 overall record and a second-place finish in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The women’s squad was ranked nationally throughout the year.

"This program has tremendous potential and could eventually contend with other top-ranked schools," Hayes said. "I plan to establish discipline and make sure our teams are among the fittest in the country. I want this program to be very active within the local community, whether it be hosting numerous events or opening our courts for organizations. We expect to have a real good relationship with the local park and recreation association."