Kansas track and field vertical jumps coach Tom Hays was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) men’s Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year on Friday. This marks the second time Hays has been honored with the award.
Hays has coached at the University of Kansas for 16 years, but has had most of his success within the last five years, producing eight Big 12 champions, five First Team All-Americans, 10 Second Team All-Americans, and four national champions, including most recently in 2018 with now senior Hussain Al Hizam.
Hays continued his success through 2021, leading a record-setting season. Sophomore Zach Bradford won the individual Big 12 title, with four Jayhawks placing in the top five, scoring 27 total points, the most in Big 12 history for the event.
The Jayhawks have also been the first team with four pole vaulters to clear the 18-foot mark in the same season in NCAA history. The Kansas men’s track team was consistently placed in the national rankings, going all the way as high as the ninth-ranked team in the country. All of these accomplishments have been possible under the coaching of Tom Hays.
This week Hays coached two individual pole vaulters into qualifying for the NCAA Track and Field Championships. Big 12 Champion Zach Bradford and Hussain Al Hizam will compete in Eugene, Oregon for a chance to become an NCAA champion and add on to an incredible season for Tom Hays and the rest of the pole vaulting team.
The men’s NCAA pole vault competition is expected to start at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, June 9, with two Jayhawks competing to win the individual title.