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Nov. 16, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Nittany Lion men's lacrosse alumnus Tom Hayes was named Lacrosse Magazine's 2012 Person of the Year on Thursday. Hayes, who was a two-time All-American at Penn State as a student-athlete, went on to coach for over 30 years at Drexel and Rutgers and helped expand the game of lacrosse across the world.
Hayes scored 53 goals and 15 assists in his two years at PSU during the 1961 and 1962 seasons. Hayes, a midfielder, set career highs for goals (27) and assists (10) during the 1962 campaign in which Penn State went 7-3. Hayes then coached the Penn State freshman team in 1967 and an assistant varsity coach in 1968.
After his time in Happy Valley, Hayes coached Drexel (1969-74) and Rutgers (1975-2000) with 58 All-Americans to his name and five NCAA Tournament appearances. In 1990, Hayes was inducted into the U.S. Lacrosse National Hall of Fame. Hayes's coaching record was 243-162 in 32 seasons.
More importantly, Hayes helped grow the game of lacrosse beyond North America. In 1974, he helped form a U.S. team to play in the Australia Lacrosse Association's centennial lacrosse celebration. Since then, Hayes has been instrumental in world lacrosse.
He helped develop the International Lacrosse Federation until its merger with the International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Association in 2008. When the two programs combined, they became the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL), a dynamic entity that hosts a World Cup event every two years. That merger paved the way to earn admission into SportAccord this past year, one of many prerequisites by the International Olympic Committee for inclusion. Now Hayes looks for the FIL's membership to join the International World Games Association, another crucial event to advance international lacrosse.
"It's been my baby, so to speak, seeing it grow from a little meeting in 1974 to where it is today," Hayes said in a press release to U.S. Lacrosse. "My most satisfying moment was at the world games in Manchester in 2010, sitting in the stands watching 30 countries come in with their flags during the opening ceremonies. I really welled up."
LACROSSE MAGAZINE'S PERSON OF THE YEAR
U.S. Lacrosse initiated Lacrosse Magazine's Person of the Year in 2007, and it is an honor reserved for the person who has had a tremendous positive influence on the sport and transcended all levels of the game. Previous winners include Duke University men's coach John Danowski (2007), Northwestern University women's coach Kelly Amonte Hiller (2008), University of Denver men's coach Bill Tierney (2009), Long Island Lizards player Tim Goettelmann (2010) and University of Michigan men's coach John Paul (2011). A complete 2012 year in review, including the cover feature on Hayes, appears in the December issue of Lacrosse Magazine.