Debra “Debbie” Hayes was a versatile athlete who played basketball, tennis, softball, track & field and volleyball. This 1979 graduate of the college was inducted into the Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 for her athletic accomplishments.
As a Wasp, Hayes played basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis, and track & field. She was named to the All-Conference team for basketball in 1978, when she averaged 15 points per game and eight rebounds per game. On the volleyball team, she was an intimidating 6’1” middle hitter who was known for her spiking. Her senior year, she was awarded the Eleanor Hutton Scholarship, which is bestowed on a female student majoring in physical education who has achieved distinction.
Before attending Emory & Henry, Hayes received an associate degree from Ferrum Junior College in 1976. While at Ferrum, she played volleyball, tennis, and basketball. She was the first female athlete at Ferrum to win the President’s Cup Award for citizen, leadership, and athletics and was inducted into Ferrum’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
Hayes went on to become a physical education teacher and coach at Marion Middle School, where she received the Teacher of the year for the 1980-81 school year, not only for her excellence as a teacher and coach, but also for her willingness to assume extra duties on behalf of the students.