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Friday, July 15, 2022

Daren Hays went from brief pro career to long career as college coach, both in baseball and softball

Daren Hays grew up with his father as a baseball coach. He played it himself in college, then in the pros.

When his playing career ended, he then quickly found his own way into coaching, The Associated Press wrote in a feature on the family in March 1998.

"When I first went to Lubbock Christian, I was a business major," Hays, then the head baseball coach at Lubbock Christian, told The AP in March 1998. "But I grew up at the ballpark. It's where I enjoy being. I couldn't see myself wearing a tie and wouldn't be good at it anyway, so I guess it's a natural deal for me."

Hays' pro baseball career lasted two seasons. He made it to high-A. His coaching career, though, has lasted much longer, first in college baseball, then in college softball.

Hays' career began in 1989, taken by the Rangers in the 38th round of the draft out of Lubbock Christian.

Hays started with the Rangers at rookie Butte. He picked up four hits in an early July game. He knocked in two runs on a single in another. He saw 62 games overall and hit .316.

Hays moved to high-A Port Charlotte in 1990. He went 2 for 3, with a home run in an August game. He saw 70 games and hit .226. That season marked his last as a pro.

Hays soon found himself back at Lubbock Christian. He spent eight seasons as head baseball coach there and went 356-163. He then moved to Texas Tech, first as assistant baseball coach, then as director of baseball operations.

In 2010, Hays returned the Lubbock Christian as the school's softball coach

"Having been around the LCU and Tech programs the last three years has really piqued my interest as far as softball goes," Hays told The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal then. "Seeing how into it they are and how hard they play and how good their skills are has got me excited about it.''

Hays has since amassed another record of success. His squads won conference tournament titles in 2016 and 2017. He continues as head coach in 2022.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,961
Made the Majors:1,322-33.4%
Never Made Majors:2,639-66.6%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:541
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

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