Murray Armstrong Award Winner
Glenn Hays, who coached the Memphis men's track and cross country teams for 36 years, was the 2012 recipient of the Murray Armstrong Award.
During his tenure, Hays coached 10 All-Americans, 19 Conference USA Indoor Champions, 24 C-USA Outdoor Champions and had 52 student athletes participate in the NCAA Championships.
He established the University's national reputation in track and field early in his career as the 1973 Tiger team won NCAA national championships in the 440-relay (39.6) and in the 100-yard dash (Ed Hammonds, 9.4). In 1976, Hays' cross country team won the Metro Conference title and runner David Topham earned the individual championship.
In 1981, Terron Wright won the NCAA National Championship in the 60-meter high hurdles and later set the world record in the 300-yard dash. During the same year, Nick Brooks captured second place in the NCAA indoor 880-yard run.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Hays graduated from Central High School and Rhodes College before receiving his master's degree from the University of Memphis.
Prior to becoming the Tiger head coach in 1970, Hays coach track at Valparaiso for five years and at Virginia Tech for one year.
University of Memphis Men's Head Coach Glenn Hays is well-known throughout the Mid-South and the national track community for producing top-of-the-line track and field teams. Now entering his 36th, and final season with the Tigers, Hays has recruited and coached numerous Metro, Great Midwest and Conference USA champions, along with 30 NCAA participants in 63 different events, specifically the coaching the U of M distance runners and sprinters.
The past few years have been no different for Hays' Tigers, as his athletes have continued to excel in Conference USA. During the 2005 season, U of M men claimed two conference titles, three runner-up finishes and broke three school records, one of which was held by Olympian Terron Wright. A title and a runner-up finish each came from thrower J.D. Erickson and triple jumper Janon Busby, while hurdler Daniel Kiss, guided by Hays broke two school marks, including Wright's in the 110m hurdles. In addition, sprinter Willie Green logged the Tigers' thrid second-place effort in the 100m at the C-USA meet and four Tigers, Busby, Brandon Winbush, Austin Hunter and Norbert Gulyas qualified for NCAA Mid-East Regionals.
The previous year the Tigers took home a total of six C-USA individual Crowns. For the second consecutive year, distance runner Mate Nemeth and thrower Gaute Myklebust each won two outdoor titles, while Myklebust also won the shot put indoors and was again named C-USA Male Outdoor Athlete of the Year. Myklebust then picked up the first ever NCAA Mid-East Regional Championship for the U of M as he won the discus in the second annual event. He and Nemeth then went on to the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row where Myklebust recorded the highest finish ever for a Memphis thrower, placing fourth in the discus.
Through his coaching career, Hays has coached a total of seven All-Americans, six national champions and one national record holder. He established Memphis' reputation early in his career, when after coming to Memphis in 1970, he coached team members to national championships in two events just three seasons later. Tiger runners took national titles in both the 440 yard relay (39.6) and the 100-yard dash (Ed Hammond, 9.4). In 1976, his cross country team also captured the Metro title while pushing David Topham to the individual championship.
Under Hays' tutelage, Terron Wright, the 1981 60-meter high hurdle national champion, also set a world record time for the 300-yard dash. In the same year, Nick Brooks captured the NCAA indoor 880-yard dash runner-up trophy. Just two seasons later, Hays' Memphis program produced the first mile runner in school history to break the four-minute barrier. Colin Hume ran the mile in 3:58.59 in 1983.
Since joining Conference USA in the 1995-96 season, the Tigers have continued their high level of success. Hays coached 16 individual athletes and seven relay teams to conference titles, five all conference cross country runners, as well as numerous Athlete of the Week recipients and Myklebust, the two-timeOutdoor Athlete of the Year. He and Nemeth are only the latest Tigers to achieve major conference and national recognition. In 2000 Delvit Rogers racked up a number of significant accomplishments, when he qualified for the NCAA Championships and the U.S. Olympic Trials in the long jump during the outdoor season. Rogers shattered the school record in the long jump while at a meet in Louisiana.
In 1996, for the fourth consecutive year, Memphis produced a conference Newcomer of the Year as Tiger decathlete Kevin O'Connell added the freshman of the year honor to his resume by finishing 13 points shy of the decathlon title at the inaugural C-USA outdoor championship meet. Former Tigers Lambros Iacovou and Kevin Robinson also set school and conference records, and won their respective championships while claiming Newcomer of the Year honors as freshmen. Robinson also was tabbed Most Outstanding Performer at the inaugural C-USA indoor meet for throwing NCAA provisional qualifying marks in both the shot put and 35 lb. weight. He then went on to win the hammer throw at the outdoor meet three years in a row, while qualifying for NCAA Championships in the shot put in 1997 and 1998.
Before his coaching career, Hays graduated from the former Southwestern College, now Rhodes College, in 1962. His first coaching job came as the cross country coach at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tenn. Three years later, Hays accepted the head coaching job at Valparaiso where his team finished among the NCAA's top-10 three times in just five seasons. He then moved on to Virginia Tech in 1969 before coming to the Tigers in 1970.
Hays finished his master's degree in physical education at Memphis in 1967. In recent years, he has extended his leadership off the track as well, owning and operating one of Memphis' finest French restaurants, La Tourrelle, located in Midtown, while also running a second restaurant called Cafe 1912.
Hays and his wife, Martha, have two daughters, Vanessa, 29, and Sara Ruth, 25.