Colorado Christian University Athletics announced today the hiring of former Texas Tech University softball coach, Shanon Hays, to direct its softball program beginning December 1, 2016. The winningest coach in Texas Tech history, Hays brings nearly 25 years of coaching experience to the CCU.
Completing a five-year tenure at Texas Tech from 2010 to 2014, Hays didn’t have a losing record from his first year on, with a 38-18 record turning around a program that had gone 15-42 the year before. In 2010 to 2012, Hays’ three straight NCAA Regional appearances coincided with five straight 30+ win seasons that had the Red Raiders in the NCAA National Tournament for the first time in a decade. With a .660 overall winning percentage at Tech (186-96), Hays fielded seven All-Americans and numerous All-District and All-Conference players.
The Texas native started his coaching career in 1993 at Lubbock Christian High School. There, he tackled both the baseball and basketball programs, leading them both to the playoffs. His efforts were rewarded as he was named the Regional Coach of the Year in both sports. In 1995, Hays moved up to the collegiate level at Frank Phillips College, where he was the head basketball coach for one year. Coach Hays continued his coaching career in basketball for 11 years at four different colligate programs from 1996 to 2007. This included a stint as head men’s basketball coach at Abilene Christian, where he had a winning percentage of .690, and associate head men’s basketball coach at University of Houston.
Making the jump from basketball to softball in 2007, Hays was named the head coach at Lubbock Christian University, where he began the softball program, and it quickly amassed a 60-10 record, winning the NAIA National Championship in the first year of the program. Hays was named NAIA Coach of the Year for softball that year, and for the next two years, he was the Sooner Conference Softball Coach of the Year, amassing a stellar 114-17 record at LCU.
Hays is taking over the CCU softball program in its 6th season, which turned in a 17-34 record and missed the playoffs in 2016 while boasting the National freshman Player of the Year and an All-Region selection as well. After an auspicious beginning in 2012, winning 34 games and securing a spot in the NCAA Regional Tournament, CCU Softball has been under .500 for the last three years in a row.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the softball program at CCU,” said Coach Hays. “After meeting and interacting with the team, I was extremely impressed with this group of young ladies. They all appear to be very motivated to compete in a strong conference, and I am thrilled to be able to coach such a solid group.”
Vice President of Student Life Jim McCormick said of Hays: “After an exhaustive national search we are thrilled, as an athletic program, to welcome Shanon Hays to our staff. Rarely are we able to attract such an accomplished coach with the depth of experience that Shanon has to CCU, so we are blessed to have him join us as our next softball coach. I believe that Coach Hays will take our softball program to new heights in how he forms and directs our young women in their pursuit of excellence on and off the field.”
CCU Softball begins its 2017 campaign with a tournament in Lubbock, Texas, in February 2017.
Colorado Christian University is located in Lakewood, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. Founded in 1914, CCU is the flagship Christian university in the Rocky Mountain region. A leader in higher education, the University was ranked in the top two percent of colleges nationwide for its core curriculum by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni — for the past five years. In 2016, CCU was named one of the “Best Four-Year Colleges for Adult Learners” by Washington Monthly.
CCU offers more than 100 degree programs for traditional and adult students through its College of Undergraduate Studies and College of Adult and Graduate Studies. More than 7,000 students attend the University on the main campus, in regional centers throughout Colorado and online. CCU is an NCAA Division II college in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). The University is also a Division I member of the National Christian College Athletics Association (NCCAA)