Article by Jack James
Joe Hays got word recently that he was selected as the Arkansas Boys Basketball Transitional Coach of the Year for 2018. Joe graduated from Lavaca High School in 1993 and played basketball while there. He went on to Westark College and before finishing his degree in History/Science/Coaching at John Brown University. Joe started coaching at Hartford in 2011 and, under his coaching leadership has brought the Hartford Hustlers to winning seasons with heads held high instead of kicking the dirt on the way home.
Coach of the Year is an award for Joe, but it’s also a great achievement for Western Arkansas who doesn’t see this kind of recognition, especially in a small school like Hartford. Sadly, Hartford schools are closing and the students will be bussed to Hackett Schools to finish their education. Joe is keeping his options open to see where the Lord leads he says. He could be an assistant coach at Hackett, more than likely, or he could find a Head Coach position somewhere else. Where ever he lands, that school will have an honest, dedicated and loving leader in Joe Hays.
Joe is the son of Irene and the late Johnnie Hays of Lavaca. “This is a tremendous honor. I’ve tried to reflect positively to myself, my family and schools. It’s a wonderful award.” Congratulations Joe! You make your hometown proud!
Photo courtesy of Wendy James