Bill Hayes, left, was also the athletics director at WSSU when the Rams reached the 2012 national championship game. That season the Rams went 13-1, the best record of any program in CIAA history.

It’s no surprise that Bill Hayes, a former football coach at Winston-Salem State and N.C. A&T, is in demand.

Hayes, who is comfortably retired and lives in Winston-Salem and spends most of his days playing golf at Maple Chase Golf & Country Club, used to coach at North Forsyth and then at Wake Forest. He was the first black assistant coach in the ACC, before taking over the program at WSSU across town in the mid-1970’s.

The WSSU program was in shambles, but Hayes turned it around rather quickly and his 1977 and ’78 teams were two of the best the CIAA has ever produced.

After he conquered Division II and did just about all he could do at WSSU, Hayes went to N.C. A&T where he also won MEAC titles and continued his winning ways. At WSSU and N.C. A&T he combined to win 195 games.

The MEAC is putting together videos of its history in football, and Hayes is a big part of that. The conference released a video with Hayes talking about his time in the game.

Hayes is also lending his football knowledge to the youth of Winston-Salem thanks to Rodney McKoy, a former player for the Rams. McKoy is doing big things at Walkertown High School as the head coach, and Journal reporter Patrick Ferlise

 writes about Hayes’ influence.

Hayes’ nephew, Richard, is also highly-successful at Fayetteville State as the head coach for the Broncos. The Broncos are on their way to a third straight Southern Division title in the CIAA.

For those that follow my blog closely I’ve suggested naming the field at Bowman Gray Stadium after Bill Hayes on several occasions. It’s something that needs to be done. I realize WSSU doesn’t own the stadium and it’s owned by the city of Winston-Salem, but that shouldn’t be an issue.

Hayes, 76, has a great outlook on where he stands in the history of black college football. In the video he talks about the coaches who paved the way for him, but the reality is he’s also paved the way for coaches that have come after him.

Here is the news release sent out by the MEAC about the legendary Hayes.


NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 17, 2019—The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) is again elated to document the outstanding legacy of its head football coaches in an effort to tell the stories of not only the legends of college football, but the stories of tremendous men of honor and integrity as well – this week shining the spotlight on an Aggies and Rams legend.

As college football celebrates its 150th year, the MEAC is proud to document and showcase some of these football coaching legends. Following last week’s retrospective on Willie Jeffries, the MEAC turns its attention this week to Bill Hayes, whose stellar head coaching career spans Winston-Salem State and North Carolina A&T State – before he transitioned to athletic administration, serving as Director of Athletics at three different schools: North Carolina Central, Florida A&M and Winston-Salem State.

HBCUs around the country are known for producing some of the best talent to come through the college ranks and into the National Football League (NFL). What many may not know is the fact that these talented student-athletes were led by legendary coaches who not only changed their lives, but they have helped to change the landscape of college football.

In the coming weeks, the MEAC will also shine the spotlight on Jake Gaither (Florida A&M), Billy Joe (Cheney, Central State, Florida A&M, Miles College), Rod Broadway (North Carolina Central, Grambling State, North Carolina A&T State) and Marino H. Casem (Alabama State, Alcorn State, Southern). These video trailers, and the footage taken over the past year, will lead into 30- to 45-minute documentaries on each legendary coach.

About the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) begins its 49th year of intercollegiate competition heading into the 2019-20 academic school year. Located in Norfolk, Va., the MEAC is made up of 11 outstanding historically black institutions across the Atlantic coastline: Bethune-Cookman University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University and South Carolina State University.

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