Hayes had winning tenure at Callaway
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
When Callaway High opened its doors in the fall of 1996, Terry Hayes made the move from Hogansville High to take over the new boys’ basketball program.
With the exception of a two-year stretch, Hayes has been the only coach the team has ever had, and the program has thrived under his leadership.
When the 2020-2021 season begins, though, there’ll be a new person leading the program, with Andre Johnson set to take over as head coach.
It’ll be the end of an era that dates back more than 25 years to the days at Hogansville High when Hayes led the team to a state championship in 1996.
“It’s been close to 30 years,” Hayes said. “I enjoyed my stay there (at Callaway). I got to work with the kids, and teach them not only about basketball, but about life itself. You go beyond basketball.”
Hayes arrived at Hogansville in 1994, and in his second season at the school, he guided the Greenwave to a state title.
Hogansville won the sixth state championship in school history with a 75-63 win over Buford in March of 1996.
When Hogansville closed, Hayes made the transition to Callaway High, and his new team reached the state quarterfinals in 1997.
Hayes was replaced as head coach in 2008, but he returned to that position in 2010 after the departure of Greg Moultrie.
Hayes has led multiple teams deep into the state tournament, and the Cavaliers won four consecutive region titles beginning in 2013.
In his final season as head coach, Hayes led the Cavaliers to a 14-8 record and a spot in the state tournament.
“We built that program (at Callaway),” Hayes said. “The program grew by leaps and bounds. The one thing is (the players) always respected Callaway, they respected that C on that shirt.”
Hayes has led some outstanding teams and coached some big-time players during his time at Hogansville and Callaway.
It’s a list that includes a host of all-state players including Demetrius Smith, Reggie Jackson, Quantavius Leslie, Braylon Sanders, and currently, Demetrius Coleman.
“I’ve had some remarkable players, going all the way back to Hogansville,” Hayes said. “That’s where it started. I couldn’t name all of them.”
Hayes has kept in touch with many of his former players, which he said “means a lot.”
“They still come back,” Hayes said. “I appreciate that. I appreciate all of them.”
Looking back on his time as a head coach, Hayes said that “one thing I can say, (the players) respected me, and they played hard for me. That’s the only thing I asked for.”
Hayes has had opportunities to take other coaching jobs, but he hasn’t wanted to leave Callaway, a place that is special to him.
“I could have gone, but I bleed Callaway red,” Hayes said.
The man who is stepping in as the new head coach has tremendous respect for the person he’s replacing.
“Those are big shoes to fill,” Andre Johnson said. “I talked to coach Hayes throughout the year when I was at the middle school. I’d ask him, coach give me your thoughts, what would you do in this situation, and definitely trying to get nuggets from him. I still wish and hope the best for coach Hayes, and hopefully he’ll still be around, so he can still help mold me as well.”