Hays inducted to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame
August 6, 2021
Alva, Okla. – The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame held their annual induction ceremony on Monday evening. As part of the 2021 induction class, former Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers basketball coach Dan Hays heard his name called as he accepted his induction. The ceremony was held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
The 2021 Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame class included: Mike Gundy, Stacey Dales, Gene Stephenson, and Robert Kalsu along with Hays.
Hays has a significant basketball background after playing for Eastern New Mexico through his college days before becoming a high school basketball coach. His first head coaching job at the college ranks was at Northwestern, which he earned after assisting at Southeastern Oklahoma State. After Northwestern, he would coach at Oklahoma Christian, and then go to the University of Central Oklahoma as a volunteer assistant.
The Rangers hired Hays in 1978, where he would coach five seasons with the Rangers from 1978-1983, finishing with a 71-68 record with the Rangers. At Northwestern Hays led the Rangers to the NAIA District 9 semifinals during the 1981-82 season and the 1982-83 season. In 1980-81 the Rangers won the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference title under Hays as he was named OIC coach of the year twice in 1981 and 1983. Following his tenure at Northwestern, he was hired by Oklahoma Christian to coach from 1983-2016.
Hays finished his coaching tenure with 724 wins through his 38 years of coaching. The 724 wins have him tied for 48th for most wins in college basketball with all division levels in the NCAA. The total wins also put him first for the most wins recorded by a men's basketball coach at a four-year Oklahoma college.
With Hays inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, that now adds to a list of accolades for the long-time coach, including the NAIA Hall of Fame (1998), the OC Athletic Hall of Fame (2012), and the Eastern New Mexico Hall of Honor (1996).