By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
CANTON, Okla. —
When Canton was looking for a boys head basketball coach, it caught the attention of Greg Hayes as he went through the Oklahoma Coaches Association job website.
Hayes had been to the Walleye Rodeo at Canton Lake and enjoyed camping there.
“That jumped off the page at me,’’ he said. “I know the area, so I went after it.’’
In the end, though, it wasn’t the walleye or the catfish at Canton Lake, that attracted him, but a chance to return to basketball coaching.
He missed the sport the last two years while serving as a football and a track assistant at Kellyville High School.
“The only thing I got to do was seventh-grade girls and that’s a different animal,’’ he said. “I miss the emotion that comes with basketball ... the intensity.
“In football, you have time to think between plays. In basketball, things happen so fast that whether you call a timeout or don’t call a timeout could make a difference between winning and losing. I missed the intensity of the gym being so loud.’’
Hayes is a graduate of Weatherford High School and Southwestern Oklahoma State. He started coaching at Weatherford while a SWOSU student.
“That was a good experience for me,’’ he said. “I learned a lot from the guys that I played under.’’
He played for coach Allen Boyd at Weatherford, but coached under Garrett Smith, who he models most of his coaching after.
“Coach Smith did a great job mentoring me,’’ Hayes said. “I feel I’m ready to be a head coach because of him. Coach Boyd was more of a systems coach. Coach Smith is more of a players coach. He ran what we could with the talent that he had.’’
Hayes sees himself as a players coach.
He had a parent-player meeting with his new team last week. Hayes was able to take the Tigers to one day of the Weatherford Summer League where they played the host Eagles and Canute.
Hayes had set a goal to become a head coach by the age of 30. He accomplished that at age 27.
“I knew the guy at Kellyville was going to be around for awhile, so I thought I would try to find me a place somewhere else as a head coach or assistant,’’ he said. “I’m excited. High school is the purest form of sports. There’s no recruiting. You got what you’ve got.’’ꆱ