Maryville's Hayes earns coach of the year honors

Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Maryville College Head Football Coach Shaun Hayes has named 2018 USA South Coach of the Year.

Hayes led the Scots to their first-ever undefeated conference record on the way to the program's first ever outright USA South Championship.

With regards to the honor coach Hayes said, "You know, it's an individual award, but behind every head coach, there's a lot of great assistant coaches, a lot of great kids and a lot of great people including the support staff in Eric Etchison, Kandis Schram, our President, Dr. Bogart, and others," Hayes said. "My name may be on the award, but this is Maryville College's award. This is still the team's award. It is exciting. It's a blessing, but I don't want to get it confused. If it wasn't for everyone's hard work, dedication and sacrifice, this award wouldn't be possible. This is our team's award."

Hayes led the Scots to only their second NCAA postseason bid this season, after finishing with a 7-3 record. It's only the 17th seven-plus win season in the program's 116-year history.

Coach Hayes added, "We kind of felt like we would have a lot of All-Conference from a statistic standpoint, because we played as a team," Hayes said. "There's so many people that touched the ball, and there's so many people that had tackles. That's why we were so good, overall, in conference play. There was not an individual that you were really concerned about. Possibly Elijah Chenier, but you know, if you look at him, you have to worry about this offensive line. He's playing phenomenal. You've got Mac Seagle, and you've got two quarterbacks that can run and receivers that can make plays with the football. We were just very versatile. Having nine overall All-Conference players is phenomenal, but the ultimate All-Conference award is the trophy that is still sitting in my office. That's all the guys cared about, but I'm very happy for the ones that were recognized."

Congratulations to coach Shaun Hayes and his Maryville Fighting Scots!