Athletics News

Softball

Skipjacks’ Hayes honored as Coach of the Year
Coach led Chesapeake College to first state softball title in nearly 30 years

WYE MILLS – Durrie Hayes has built a women’s softball juggernaut almost from scratch. That accomplishment was recognized Thursday night at the Chesapeake College Athletic Hall of Fame dinner when Hayes was honored for his selection as Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

Hayes, who was also the Region XX Coach of the Year in 2009, guided the Skipjacks to a share of their first state title in nearly 30 years and to their second consecutive appearance in the NJCAA Region XX championship game. The Skipjacks lost the region title game to Cecil College, but still broke the school record for victories for the second straight year with a 26-10 mark.

"Durrie has done exactly what we expected when we hired him three years ago – built a team that year in and year out challenges for championships," said Chesapeake College Athletic Director Frank Szymanski. "Given his track record, why would we have expected anything else?"

Hayes does have a history of winning.

He claimed three state titles at Easton High, won the 2009 NJCAA Division II Region XX championship with the Skipjacks and took that team to the Division II World Series in his second season at Chesapeake. The Skipjacks followed up that achievement with last spring’s record-setting season.

The Skipjacks’ 49-25 record over the last two seasons has Chesapeake headed in the direction Hayes envisioned when he took over the program in 2008. Hayes, however, said the Skipjacks’ 2008 record should be a reminder that coaching only counts for so much.

"I was 6-17 my first year, so you’ve got to have players to win," said Hayes. "I don’t discount that good coaching helps – I’m not immodest to a fault – but without players you’re not going to win. (Assistant coaches) Clay (Stevens) and Warren (Walters) did a good job last year and the girls came through."

Hayes said the 2009 World Series appearance is helping keep the Skipjacks on the minds of top-flight recruits.

"We’ve done well, so now we can successfully recruit better players," said Hayes. "We’ve been to a World Series – how many girls do you know who’ve played in a World Series? That helps sell the program."

Anyone familiar with Hayes’ prior coaching accomplishments probably isn’t surprised with what he’s done at Chesapeake. Hayes compiled a 232-45 record along with the three state championships with Easton High, and won another three ASA state titles coaching various men’s modified fast pitch softball teams.

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