PHOENIX – Longtime Oklahoma Christian men’s coach Dan Hays was honored Sunday night by the National Association of Basketball Coaches with a prestigious “Guardians of the Game” award for service.
Before the award was presented at the Orpheum Theater, a three-minute video was shown featuring photos and highlights from Hays’ career at OC, along with interviews with Hays and OC president John deSteiguer.
“Coach Hays is one of the university’s icons, and he is one of those fellows who spent decades here and made this place better because he made individuals better,” deSteiguer said in the video. “Coach Hays will never be forgotten here at OC.”
The positive influence of Hays, who stepped down in February 2016 after 33 seasons at OC and 38 as a head college coach, has spread far and wide – not just through the players he coached, but also through his work at OC Cage Camps and USA Basketball as well as numerous community service projects, such as free clinics he and his staff conducted for underprivileged children and at juvenile facilities.
Previous winners of the service award include Kansas coach Bill Self, Brigham Young coach Dave Rose, former Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, Wright State coach Scott Nagy, Georgia State coach Ron Hunter and Towson coach Pat Skerry.