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Search begins for new Raider baseball coach

The 2013 Raiders made a deep run in the FCSAA State Tournament under Coach Hayes.
Chris Hayes

The search is on for a new head baseball coach at Seminole State College of Florida following the departure of five-year coach Chris Hayes.

After five seasons as head coach of the Raiders, Hayes has accepted the assistant head coach position at his alma mater, Jacksonville University. His passion for the game and prowess as a recruiter put Coach Hayes among the top coaches in the Southeast.

“This is a great opportunity for Chris to return to Jacksonville University, where he played and coached,” says Seminole State Athletic Director John Scarpino. “He did a wonderful job taking our program to the next level and keeping up the fine tradition established before him by former coach Mike Nicholson. We’ll miss Chris, but we wish him nothing but success as he continues his career.”

In his final season with Seminole State, Hayes led the Raiders to a tie for the No. 1 spot in the Mid-Florida Conference (MFC) and a deep run in the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) State Tournament. The Raiders finished the season No. 33 in the nation, according to Perfect Game’s rankings.

“I’m so appreciative and thankful for my time as head coach at Seminole State,” Hayes says. “We have seen so many changes and substantial growth over the last five years in the College’s Athletics Department and the baseball team.”

Hayes, one of only four head coaches in the Raiders 45-year history, went 125-113-1, with 32 All-MFC players, eight All-FCSAA selections and five Academic All-Americans. Fifty-one of Hayes’ players continued their collegiate baseball careers after Seminole State at four-year universities, and 10 were selected in the Major League Baseball draft, including one from the 2013 squad. In addition, the Raiders participated in more than 40 community service projects around Central Florida.

Prior to his time with the Raiders, Hayes was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Jacksonville. He helped lead the Dolphins to two Atlantic Sun Conference championships and back-to-back NCAA regional appearances. He also received national accolades with consecutive recruiting classes ranked in Collegiate Baseball’s Top 40 Poll.

Coach Hayes officially begins at Jacksonville University on July 1. He is optimistic about the future of his career, but he will always remember his years with the Raiders fondly.

“Working with the young men that have come through this program at Seminole State has been such a gratifying experience that will stay with me throughout my career,” Hayes says. “I want to thank Dr. E. Ann McGee, Dr. Joe Sarnovsky and John Scarpino for the opportunity to lead the Seminole State baseball program and be a part of the Raider family. Go Raiders!”

The head baseball coach position opened June 6, and applications will be accepted through June 23. If you would like to apply for this or any other position at Seminole State, visit www.seminolestate.edu/hr/jobs/.

Seminole State competes in three NJCAA Division I sports: baseball, softball and women’s golf. For more information, please visit the Raider athletics home page.

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