The National College Baseball Hall of Fame announced their 2015 induction class on Wednesday, March 4, naming Lubbock Christian University alumnus, Larry Hays, as one of its eight inductees. The first announcement of his induction was made by National College Baseball Hall of Fame Executive Director Mike Gustafson during LCU’s weekly chapel meeting with Hays in attendance.
Hays’ roots run deep at Lubbock Christian. The Dora, New Mexico native earned an Associate of Arts degree from the school in 1964. He then earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern New Mexico University before returning to Lubbock Christian as head coach of the men’s basketball team. In 1972, Hays reinstated Lubbock Christian’s suspended baseball program and saw great success. The Chaps went 695-381-1 under Hays, collected eight NAIA District titles, two area championships, and a NAIA national title in 1983. Hays’ influence didn’t stop there. He also served as the head coach of the women’s basketball program from 1982 to 1983 and as athletic director from 1979 to 1986.
Hays left LCU in 1986 and became head baseball coach at Texas Tech University. During his 22 seasons with the Red Raiders, Hays only saw two losing seasons and compiled a record of 814-479-3. Hays led the Red Raiders to two regular-season conference championships, two conference tournament championships (Southwest Conference and the Big 12 Conference), and nine NCAA Tournament appearances, with eight straight appearances from 1995 to 2002. He stepped down from Texas Tech as one of only five coaches in NCAA history to achieve over 1,500 wins.
In 1991, Lubbock Christian University inducted Hays into its Hall of Honor and renamed its baseball facility to Hays Field in 1999 to honor Larry and his family. Hays’ achievements have gained him recognition beyond Lubbock. In 2001, Hays became the first college baseball coach in the state to be inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame and the MEAC Hall of Fame.
Hays briefly returned to LCU in 2008, assisting his son Shanon, who served as Lady Chaps head softball coach from 2008 to 2009, as he led the Lady Chaps program to the NAIA Softball National Championship title. He then replaced Shanon for the 2010 season, leading the Lady Chaps to the NAIA Softball National Championships before handing over the reins to his son Daren in 2011.
The National College Baseball Hall of Fame will induct Hays during its annual celebration scheduled for June 28 through 29 in Lubbock, TX. Joining Hays in the 2015 induction class is Joe Arnold, Lance Berkman, Al Holland, Bill Holowaty, Mike Kelly, Rick Reichardt, and Frank Viola.
Tickets for the induction will become available in May through the Hall of Fame’s website at www.collegebaseballhall.org.