Friday, 19 November 2010

Western honours Doug Hayes during Saturday's Game vs. Ottawa

Those who knew Doug would understand how much a night like this would mean to him if he were still with us.  Please support this great event.

For anyone wishing to donate to the Doug and Lauretta Hayes Scholarship fund, please visit: 

Doug Hayes to be honoured at basketball fundraiser against Ottawa

Nov. 20: Doug Hayes Tribute Night, Ottawa vs. Western, 5 & 7 p.m.

By Andrew Simpson

LONDON, Ont. - When the Western Mustangs men and women's basketball teams host Ottawa on Nov. 20 the game will be about more than just basketball, it will be about honouring a man who helped build the basketball programs at Western.

That weekend the Mustangs and their fans will honour Doug Hayes with an appreciation night for all of the countless contributions, both tangible and intangible, he made to students, the program and the school during his time with Western. The official tribute will take place at 7 p.m.

Funds will be collected to be donated to the Doug and Lauretta Hayes Scholarship Fund at the game that evening or donations can be made online.

Hayes was a long time coach with the Mustangs, first as an assistant with the football team and then becoming head coach of the women's basketball team. He led them to three straight Ontario championships, the only three in their history.

Hayes then became coach of the men's basketball program for 17 years, ending his coaching career with back-to-back Wilson Cups as Ontario champions. He shifted his focus from coaching to devote his time for administration as the men's athletic co-ordinator and chairperson of intercollegiate athletics.

The entire time he was coaching he was still teaching a full course load in Kinesiology and continued to volunteer in the classroom for over a decade after his retirement as Professor Emeritus.

Hayes cannot be quantified purely by the multiple championships and accomplishments during his time with Western. His contribution extends much deeper than that making lasting personal connections with his students, peers and athletes.

When I asked friends and colleagues of Doug about what qualities would best define him, the answers were uniform in that he had a zest for life and a love for helping others.

"The thing I remember most about Doug was his joy for living," friend and colleague Earl Noble reminisced. "This was evident in his humour, his long-held friendships and his love of family."

"In everything he did from coaching to teaching to friendship, Doug always went the extra mile."

Craig Boydell, former basketball coach at Western and friend of Doug's, reiterated these points.

"Doug brought his special humour, warmth, balanced perspective and sense of celebration to everything he touched," Boydell said. "He could command and direct, but he also listened and facilitated. He was driven to achieve in some very competitive arenas, but he was comfortable in his own skin and helped others around him be comfortable in theirs."

Director of Sports and Recreation Services for the Mustangs, Therese Quigley, had the unique honour of being both taught by Doug and then later as a colleague. She remembers Doug's outstanding qualities and how he may be gone but is most certainly not forgotten.

"We will miss Doug, he was a wonderful friend, colleague and mentor to so many of us," Quigley said. "But he taught us well and his legacy will live on through the lives of so many that he touched in his career."

Join us at Alumni hall on Nov. 20 as the Western Mustangs' family and fans celebrate Doug Hayes' life and career as the Mustangs host the Ottawa Gee-Gees in OUA basketball action. The women will tip-off at 5 p.m. with the tribute to Hayes taking place at 7 p.m. before the men's game gets underway.

Tickets can be purchased at and student admission is free with their Student ID card.

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