Portales, NM – February 11, 2024 – Former ENMU Greyhound Basketball player Larry Hays has been selected to the 2023 New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame. Hays becomes the first former Greyhound male athlete inducted into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame.
“This is an unbelievable honor to be inducted into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame,” said Larry Hays. “My life was blessed to grow up in Dora, New Mexico, and attend Eastern New Mexico University.”
Hays, who played basketball for the Greyhounds in the mid-1960s and holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from ENMU, became one of the most successful college baseball and softball coaches in NCAA history.
Hays graduated from ENMU in 1969 with his master’s degree and started coaching at Lubbock Christian University that fall. Hays began as a men’s basketball coach and then helped to reinstate the suspended baseball program at Lubbock Christian University, becoming head baseball coach in 1972. From 1972 to 1986, Hays went 695-381, winning the 1983 NAIA National Baseball Championship.
In 1987, he took over the reins as head baseball coach at Texas Tech University. This tenure lasted 22 years, as Hays went 814-479-3 and became only the fourth college baseball coach to reach the 1500 wins milestone.
After retiring from Texas Tech in 2008, Hays returned to coaching at Lubbock Christian University, this time as an assistant and then head softball coach, helping the LCU softball team win the 2010 national championship.
Hays has continued coaching softball, being named the head softball coach at Colorado Christian University in 2018. He continues to see record-setting accomplishments as he led Colorado Christian Softball to their first-ever two conference tournament titles in 2022 and 2023.
Hays was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1991, the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001, and the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012 while also having his number retired at Texas Tech University and the baseball facility at Lubbock Christian University being named after him and his family.
“On behalf of ENMU, I add our congratulations to the many I am sure Mr. Hays will receive,” said James Johnston, ENMU Chancellor. “What an incredible career and well-deserved recognition. ENMU is proud to have been a part of his journey, and we wish him continued success.”
Larry Hays will be inducted into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame on June 23, 2024, at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information on the ceremony, visit www.nmshof.org .
For more information on Eastern New Mexico University Athletics and its long history of success, visit www.GoEasternAthletics.com .