EIVA Hall of Fame Inductee: Tom Hay
In the weeks leading up to the EIVA Championship match, EIVAvolleyball.com will feature each of the six inductees into the league’s inaugural Hall of Fame Class. The EIVA is in its 40th year as the leading men’s volleyball conference in the east after being founded as the Eastern Collegiate Volleyball League (ECVL) in 1971 and changing its name in 1985.
The late Tom Hay joined the Springfield College staff in 1966
and he coached both the men’s and women’s programs for
22 years with a career record of 675-286-20. His men’s squad
represented the east in the 1971 NCAA Men’s Championship at
UCLA and in 1976 Springfield placed fourth at the NCAA Division II
“Coach Hay made every day fun - he had a great personality,” said former player Joel Dearing. “As a tactician, he played the percentages yet found a way to have his teams play aggressively. He coached long before rally scoring, so the traditional scoring system meant you only scored when your team was serving. His favorite rallying cry was ‘You can't score if you can't serve’ which led to his players to refer to him as ‘Keep the ball in play – Hay.’”
In 1987 the EIVA recognized Hay with the EIVA Coach Emeritus Award for his lifelong commitment to the sport of volleyball, and he was also inducted posthumously into the Springfield College Hall of Fame in 2007. Hay influenced countless individuals through his coaching and teaching, changing lives in the process.
Said Dearing: “Had it not been for Coach Hay recruiting me to play volleyball, I would never have had a collegiate coaching career spanning 30 years and combining the women's and men's teams I coached - a total of 40 seasons (at Springfield). [Hay was] clearly a pioneer for intercollegiate men's volleyball.”
Hay also had some off-the-court antics to liven things up. “Coach Hay was known for his creative hats,” said Dearing. “If there was a parade in town, there was a 50/50 chance that Coach Hay's photo would be in the paper the next day with the special hat he had prepared for the event. He also loved to do magic tricks for the waitresses when the team would go out to eat.”
Hay was inducted into the YMCA Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2008 in an event that highlighted significant contributions individuals made to the development of volleyball in the YMCA, a place where Hay learned his volleyball skills through coaching and playing after college.
Hay dedicated his life to the advancement and development of the sport of volleyball and the EIVA is proud to induct him into the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame.
Story Courtesy of Jen Armson-Dyer, Communications Director