NEW ORLEANS, La. - Just one week after winning their first-ever Sun Belt Conference Championship, the Trojans received another award courtesy of the conference office on Tuesday afternoon.
Head coach Eric Hayes was named as the 2010 Sun Belt Conference Men's Tennis Coach of the Year, according to the conference office. It is the second such honor for Hayes as a head coach, but the first since the school joined the Sun Belt.
"I wish I could cut the trophy in half," Hayes said. "Tyler Faulkner is as much to thank for the team's performance this season, he has worked hard all year to help us put a good product on the courts and he deserves mention for this award as well. The guys are the one who won this honor, they are the guys that have to play everyday, I just have to keep them focused on the task at hand."
Hayes, in his eighth season at Troy, led the Trojans to their first-ever Sun Belt Conference Championship and berth into the Men's Tennis National Championships.
During his tenure at Troy, Hayes has seen a growth in the program which started Division I play in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Over time, Hayes has posted a 45-51 record in his time at Troy; including a 20-4 mark this season. He has not been afraid to play anyone in the country, playing numerous nationally-ranked teams along the way over his tenure at Troy. He has coached eight all-conference players, including a pair of performers this season in Luis Henrique Grangeiro and Mario Rolemberg.
This season, Hayes helped the Trojans achieve many firsts during the 2010 season. The team achieved their first national ranking in eight years during the third week of the season, and achieved their highest national ranking in school history with a ranking of 51 this season. They also finished in the final rankings for the first time in school history at 55, in the poll released May 3. The Trojans also won their first conference championship and earned their first berth to the NCAA Regional, along with posting their best record in school history.
This season, the Trojans reeled off two winning streaks to help earn the national ranking and the trip to the NCAA Regional. The team reeled off 11 consecutive victories following a loss to Winthrop in late February, not losing again until they fell to Denver in the finals of the Sun Belt Shootout the opening weekend of April. Following the loss to Denver, the Trojans reeled off a four match winning streak - which included a victory over Denver - to claim the conference championship.
Hayes has been around the game of tennis for a long portion of his life with coaching stops at South Florida, Kansas and North Carolina State. During his time at the four institutions and coaching both teams, Hayes has posted a 198-246 career record including multiple weeks in the ITA Top 75.