FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2008
Chris Hayes named head baseball coach at Seminole C.C.

After four-years as a JU player and five years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for his alma mater, Chris Hayes will get his first opportunity to control his own program as he takes the reigns of the Seminole Community College baseball program, it was announced today by SCC Director of Athletics John Scarpino.


Hayes, one of the top young assistants and recruiters in the Southeast, will take over a Seminole program which has won back-to-back Mid-Florida Conference Championships. He will replace Mike Nicholson, who stepped down July 1 to become SCC's Assistant Director of Athletics.


“I have had a tremendous experience here at Jacksonville University,” Hayes said. “Being able to come back as a coach for my alma mater and work under Coach Terry Alexander was such an invaluable opportunity.  JU is a wonderful environment to be a part of, as a student and as an employee and I am so thankful for the experiences and relationships that I have developed here.  I look forward to my next opportunity as head coach at Seminole Community College and believe that SCC shares some of the same values and vision with JU.”


Hayes joined the program as an assistant coach in 2003 and helped the Dolphins to back-to-back Atlantic Sun Conference Championships and NCAA Regional appearances in 2006 and 2007. It marked the first consecutive regional appearances for the program since his final two years as a player with the Dolphins (1994-95).  As recruiting coordinator, Hayes received national accolades with back-to-back recruiting classes ranked in Collegiate Baseball's Top 40 Poll.


“While we are sad to see Chris leave, we are also happy for his opportunity to move on and gain valuable experience as a head coach at the Junior College level,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander, who Hayes played and coached under. “He was a Dolphin through and through. He played and graduated from here, got his masters degree and spent the last five years as a valuable and loyal assistant.  We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”


Prior to his time at JU, Hayes spent three years as an assistant coach at Wolfson High School in Jacksonville from 2001-03, where the team won the district championship in 2002 and 2003, while earning a No. 12 national ranking at the end of the 2003 season. Wolfson was also ranked in the top 10 in the state every year of Hayes’ tenure, while seven of his players received college scholarships. Two of his coaching prospects are former first-round selections - Eric Hurley (who is in his first year with the Texas Rangers) and Billy Butler (who is in his second season with the Kansas City Royals).


                Prior to his coaching career, Hayes spent six seasons (1995-2000) with the Toronto Blue Jays organization after being drafted in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. Hayes played every infield and outfield position in five seasons with the Blue Jays’ minor league system, hitting .281 with 91 doubles, 14 triples, 27 home runs and 215 RBI.  Hayes also made stops in St. Catherines, Ontario; Hagerstown, Md.; Dunedin, Fla.; and Knoxville, Tenn. while in the minors.


                Hayes was a four-year starter at JU from 1992-95, twice earning all-Sun Belt Conference honors, while also earning all-regional accolades as a junior. Hayes led the Dolphins to their only consecutive NCAA Regional appearances (1994, 1995) in school history and still ranks third all-time at JU in RBI (176) and fourth in at-bats (802), hits (271), doubles (53) and total bases (402), while ranking sixth in games played (216) and ninth in runs (163). 

                A native of Jacksonville, Hayes earned both his bachelor's degree in finance in 1995 and his MBA in 2007 from JU.