Hays receives prestigious honor at Final Four

Longtime OC men’s coach Dan Hays was honored in April by the National Association of Basketball Coaches with a prestigious “Guardians of the Game” award for service.

CBS Sports reporter Allie LaForce presented him with the award at a special ceremony in Phoenix during the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The positive influence of Hays, who stepped down in February 2016 after 33 seasons at OC and 38 as a head college coach, has spread far and wide – not just through the players he coached, but also through his work at OC Cage Camps and USA Basketball as well as numerous community service projects, such as free clinics he and his staff conducted for underprivileged children and at juvenile facilities.

“I am honored and humbled by the NABC selecting me for this award,” Hays said. “I have always tried to be more than just a basketball coach everywhere I worked. My last 33 years at Oklahoma Christian University were great. There are so many people I coached with, worked with, and taught that there is no way I could start to recognize them all.”

Hays stepped down as OC’s coach in February 2016, finishing a 38-year career (which included five seasons at Northwestern Oklahoma State) with a 724-470 record. At the time he left OC, he ranked 20th among active men’s coaches in wins and tied for 42nd overall. He has won more games at an Oklahoma university than any other coach.

“Coach Hays is one of the university’s icons, and he is one of those fellows who spent decades here and made this place better because he made individuals better,” President John deSteiguer said. “Coach Hays will never be forgotten here at OC.”

Spring 2017

View more stories from the Spring 2017 issue of Vision magazine.