– Dean Hayes, the Blue Raiders’ legendary track coach of 57 years and pioneer, has passed away.
Hayes, 84, passed peacefully with his family by his side at St. Thomas Hospital Friday afternoon.
“Dean Hayes was a champion in so many ways: As a father, mentor and role model, a world-class recruiter, and a winning coach at the highest echelons,” said President Sidney A. McPhee. “Dean was a living legend. I speak for Elizabeth and my family, as well as all Blue Raiders, in expressing our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Jan and all of his family.”
A family spokesperson indicated there will be a private funeral for family only; however, plans are underway for a Celebration of Life that will be open to the public. Date and time of the Celebration of Life is to be determined.
“Words can’t express what Dean Hayes has meant to MTSU, the MTSU track and field program, international track and field, and the thousands of people whose lives he has impacted through his work,” said Director of Athletics Chris Massaro. “He is on the Mount Rushmore of Middle Tennessee, and not just athletics. Coach Hayes was a pioneer and an institution at MTSU. He will be sorely missed by the community, the University, and all of his former and present student-athletes. Our thoughts and prayers are with his…