William Edward 'Bill' Hayes Jr.


William Edward "Bill" Hayes Jr. was born May 24, 1940, in Knoxville, Tenn., the son of William Edward and Shirley (Carson) Hayes. He passed away on Monday, April 1, 2013, at Vista Grande Inn at the age of 72.

Bill attended the University of New Mexico. He was on the 1961 UNM football team that attended the inaugural Aviation Bowl and won 28-12. For that, his team was placed in the University of New Mexico's Hall of Fame in 1990. He graduated from UNM in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in physical Education and in 1968 with a easters degree in Education Administration. He spent nine years teaching and coaching in Albuquerque schools before coming to Fort Lewis College.

Bill coached several different sports at Fort Lewis College from 1971 to 1995. His first duty at the college was as defensive coordinator for the Raider football team for 11 seasons from 1971 to 1981, all under head coach Jay McNitt. FLC enjoyed its longest string of successful gridiron seasons as a four-year college during these years. The Raiders posted winning records four times in a five-year span from 1975 to 1979, including the school's best-ever record of 7-2 in 1976.

The efforts of Hayes' defense played a major factor in the overall success of the team. FLC shut out opponents seven times during his career. The Raiders fielded the league's top defense three times under Hayes and placed in the RMAC's top five defensive teams 80 percent of the time.

Hayes spent two years as head men's and women's swimming coach from 1982 to 1984, guiding the Raiders to top-10 finishes at the NAIA national championships and coaching several All-Americans.

When swimming was dropped as a varsity sport at the college, he switched his focus to inherit the year-old Raider softball program. He served as head softball coach for 11 seasons from 1985 to 95, posting a 68-192 record. He was chosen as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the year in 1993. His teams posted the first 10-win seasons in FLC history: a 13-win campaign in 1985 and a 10 win season in 1995.

Hayes chaired FLC's Faculty Athletic Committee during the 1999-2000 academic year. He retired as Assistant Professor of Exercise Science Emeritus in 2000 after 30 years at Fort Lewis College. He is in the FLC Hall of Fame.

In addition to Bill's contributions at Fort Lewis, he enjoyed activities in the outdoors including hunting, fishing and back packing; and accomplished photographer of a wide variety of subject types; and loved music whether listening or playing his banjo, guitar or harmonica.

Surviving Bill are his wife of 38 years, Kathryn Ann Hayes of Cortez; and his daughter, Abigail Kathryn Hayes of Denver, Colo. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Cremation has taken place. Memorial contributions may be made in Bill Hayes' name to the Alzheimer's Association.

Arrangements are being made through Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to www.ertelfuneralhome.com and click on the obituary section.

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