RACHEL, W.Va. – Daran Hays says the thought of becoming an athletic director one day occurred to him roughly five years ago when Marion County made a change in policy.
Hays, who’s been the head football coach at his alma matre since 2009, assumed the role of North Marion athletic director on Tuesday.
The veteran head coach, who bleeds Huskies black and silver, takes over for another veteran coach in Mike Parrish. According to Hays, he becomes the fifth athletic director in school history.
“When they brought (the athletic directors) back into our buildings …. It started being something that I thought about,” Hays said. “When coach Parrish and coach (James) Beckman over at East Fairmont got their AD positions and they were still allowed to coach, and then they just hired game managers for the in-season, that’s when I really started thinking this is something I could really get into. I don’t have to give up football, which is a passion of mine, obviously. But North Marion is a bigger passion of mine.”
For Hays, this additional role not only gives him the opportunity to stay heavily involved on the football side of things, but also gives him a chance to get to know other NMHS athletes and non-athletes better.
“I believe really firmly that a really involved student is a really successful student. The more things that we can get them involved in, extracurricular-wise, that’s their reason for coming to school a lot of times,” says Hays. “It might be a tech center class that gets them to school, it might be a sport. We know first-hand from data, and being data driven that during football season, football players attendance increases. During basketball season, basketball players attendance to school increases.”
Hays has coached the Huskies football program to a 52-70 record during his tenure. However, since the start of the 2015 season, he and his team are 35-27 and have made the playoffs three times.