By Matt Franzblau, Media Relations Student Assistant
Tom Hays is in his ninth season as the vertical jumps coach at the University of Kansas. Hays is a familiar face to the KU track program, as he competed for the Jayhawks in the mid-80s before receiving his degree in education in 1989.
Hays began to develop another talented and deep pole vault group in 2012. A total of three men and four women notched top-eight finishes at one or both of the conference meets with four of Hays' vaulters advancing to the NCAA West Preliminary round. Sophomore Demi Payne began to emerge as a KU pole vaulting star, earning second team All-America honors and finishing as the conference runner-up at the Big 12 indoor meet.
Hays was named 2011 National Collegiate Pole Vault Coach of the Year after coaching Jordan Scott to the 2010 NCAA Outdoor title in the event. Additionally, Scott won both the indoor and outdoor Big 12 titles in 2010. Hays also guided Ryan Hays, his son, to a fifth-place finish at the 2010 Big 12 Outdoor meet, as the younger Hays cleared 17 feet for the first time in his career.
Hays added two pole vault All-Americans to his resumé in 2008 as Kate Sultanova held the honor for the fourth time while Jordan Scott picked up his first All-America honor. Sultanova also swept the Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor pole vault championships, and Scott won the Big 12 Indoor pole vault title. The conference titles were the third and fourth for Sultanova, and Scott's third in two years.
In 2007, Hays' athletes made a clean sweep of the Outdoor Big 12 pole vault titles as KU boasted both the men's and women's champions. Junior Kate Sultanova became the fourth woman in Jayhawk history to accomplish the feat and freshman Jordan Scott tied the Big 12 record en route to his victory. Scott also won the indoor conference championship in the pole vault and was named the 2007 Big 12 Indoor Freshman Performer of the Year and the 2007 Big 12 Outdoor Freshman Co-Perfomer of the Year. Scott became the first male in school history to recieve either distinction. Sultanova went on to earn All-America honors in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault.
Hays coached Sultanova to the 2005 Outdoor Big 12 championship. Sultanova earned Outdoor All-America honors that year with her seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championships and was named the female Big 12 Outdoor Freshman Performer of the Year.
At Johnson County Community College, Hays coached two elite pole vaulters, Andrea Dutoit and Amy Linnen. Both won NCAA pole vault championships and were Olympic Trials finalists. Linnen followed Hays to KU where she was the 2005 indoor national champion in the pole vault.
During his tenure at Arizona, Hays helped develop Arizona's pole vault squad into one of the top teams in the nation. In his six seasons, he coached 15 All-Americans, four national champions, two national runner-ups and two collegiate record holders.
At Wichita State, Hays coached Missouri Valley Conference champions in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters and the 1,500-meter run. His athletes also won conference titles in the 400-meter relay, hammer throw, shot put, javelin, pole vault, triple jump and the decathlon. Wichita's Einers Tupuritis won two NCAA Championships in the 800 meters.
While at Nevada, Hays coached two national qualifiers in the triple jump and one national qualifier in the high jump while fielding the top jump program in the Big Sky Conference.
In addition to his experience coaching at the collegiate level, Hays has also worked at several elite track & field camps and clinics. In 2002, Hays was the IAAF Event Development Coordinator for the pole vault, working with world record holder Segey Bubka. From 1998-2002, he worked with the Kiss the Sky Vault Camp in Flagstaff, Ariz., and for four years he was a guest coach at the Wallsend Track & Field Club. Hays also served as director of the Shocker vault camp from 1992-97.
A native of McLouth, Kan., Hays earned a B.A. in physical education from KU in 1989. Hays and his wife Rebecca have four children: Amanda, Ryan, Kevin and Kara.
JordanScott (Kansas) - 2010 NCAA Champion (Pole Vault) - Five-time Big 12 Champion in the pole vault (2011, outdoor, 2010 outdoor, 2008 indoor, 2007 indoor and outdoor) - 2007 Big 12 Indoor Freshman Performer of the Year - 2007 Big 12 Outdoor Freshman Co-Perfomer of the Year Kate Sultanova (Kansas) - Four time All-American in the pole vault (2007 and 2008 indoor, 2005 and 2007 outdoor) - Four-time Big 12 Champion in the pole vault (2008 indoor and outdoor, 2007 indoor, 2005 outdoor) - Owns a share of the school record in the indoor pole vault (4.30 meters, 14-01.25 ft.) AmyLinnen (Kansas) - 2002 and 2005 National Champion (indoor pole vault) - Two-time All-American in the pole vault (2005 indoor and outdoor) - 2005 Big 12 Champion (indoor pole vault) - Current NCAA Indoor collegiate record holder (pole vault) AndreaDutoit (Arizona) - 2001 National Champion (pole vault) - Finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year on ESPN - Had the eighth-best pole vault of all-time in 2004 DominicJohnson (Arizona) - Three-time Olympian in the pole vault (1996, 2000, 2008) - Holds three NCAA collegiate records (decathlon, pole vault, 400 meters) KlausAmbrosh (Arizona) - 2000 Olympian in the decathlon (placed eighth) - 1998 National Champion (decathlon) Einars Tupuritis (Wichita State) - 1996 Olympian in the 800 meters (placed 11th) - 1995 National Champion (indoor and outdoor 800 meters) - Former NCAA Indoor collegiate record holder (800 meters) - 1997 World Indoor Championships competitor (placed sixth in the 800 meters)