W. Gothard Bays

Class of 1940 / Inducted 1976 / Football

Willard Gothard Bays is a native of Saint Paul, Virginia. The 1976 Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame inductee was a standout athlete on the gridiron for the Wasps. He was awarded a trophy as the team’s best blocker during the 1939 season.

After leaving E&H, Bays served in the U.S. Navy in naval aviation and was discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He received a master’s degree from the University of Alabama and entered a coaching and teaching career in the public school system of Wise County, Virginia. From 1954-56 his football teams won the District Eight championship. One of his former players, Carroll Dale became an All-American at VPI&SU and played professionally with the Green Bay Packers.

Bays also coached basketball and won the District 8 crown during the 1954 season. He is well known throughout Southwest Virginia for his coaching and teaching, having worked at a number of different schools and served as a high school sports official for more than 35 years. Additionally, he served as an athletics and recreation director of Flatwoods Job Corps Conservation Center near Coeburn, Virginia.

Willard G. Bays Sr. passed away on February 16, 2000 at the age of 81.