"The image of Doug the person rises above all that he did. Doug motivated people to achieve and helped them enjoy the process, including the bumps along the way. He commanded and directed when needed, but more important, he listened and facilitated. Doug was driven to achieve, was comfortable in his own skin and helped others around him feel comfortable in theirs. Doug brought his special humour, warmth, balanced perspective and sense of celebration to everything he touched."
-- Coach Craig Boydell on knowing and working with Doug Hayes
Taking over as head coach at the beginning of the 1974-75 season, many saw Doug Hayes as the saviour of the men’s basketball team. He took a team that almost everyone had given up on and coached them to two Ontario University Athletic Association championship title wins by his last season with them in 1990.
In total, Coach Hayes spent twenty years working at UWO. Originally, he came to the university to coach football and teach in the Department of Physical Education, but he soon took on the role of the assistant coach of the men’s basketball team and his talent for working in that sport became known. In addition to his sixteen years with the men’s team, he was the first head coach of the women’s basketball team from 1971 until 1973. His skills were definitely noticeable in his time with the women’s team, as he helped them win three Ontario championships.
Known for being optimistic, his attitude spread to his players. He also tried to emphasize the importance of focusing on the team as a whole rather than on the skills of individual players, which helped the team to work better together and improve over the years. In addition to coaching, in 1988 Hayes took on the role of men’s athletic coordinator at Western until his retirement in 1997. One year before he retired, he was honoured for years of coaching basketball when he received the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Award.
Sadly, Doug Hayes passed away in 2010 after a battle with a long illness, but he will always be remembered for being a caring coach, respected by all of his players.