Since joining the UT Arlington track and field staff prior to the 2011 season, former Mavericks' pole vaulter Wade Hayes has paid huge dividends in aiding the team's field events. A standout in his event, Hayes was named to the Southland Conference All-Time Indoor Track & Field Honor Roll in 2013, a list that recognized the best athletes in the league's first 50 years.
The 2014 track season was a banner one for the Mavericks, who won the triple crown in the Sun Belt Conference by claiming the men's indoor and outdoor track titles to go along with a cross country crown. Hayes' athletes enjoyed tremendous individual success as well.
For the men, Ivan Storic recorded the second-best javelin throw in school history (230-1) en route to a berth into the NCAA West Preliminary Round. He also was named all-conference. In addition, Noemie Forget qualified for the NCAA preliminary meet by setting a school record in the women's pole vault (13-00.25).
Hayes has helped five different athletes grab all-conference honors in the pole vault in just four years. For the women, Sammy Nash was a Southland Conference honoree in 2011, while Julianne Burch has claimed outdoor conference accolades in 2012 and 2013. On the men's side, Jeff Rodriguez was named to the All-SLC squad multiple times, while Romain Martin and Connor McGuire were All-Western Athletic Conference performers in 2013.
Rodriguez has headlined Hayes' pupils, earning Second-Team All-America honors after placing 14th in the pole vault at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Rodriguez also was the 2011 Drake Relays champion. Rodriguez continued to soar in 2012, setting school records in both the indoor (17-06.50) and outdoor (17-08.50) events. He also won the indoor conference championship and was a national qualifier in the outdoor season.
Hayes' success also has carried over into the throwing events. Bozidar Antunovic was a First-Team All-American in the indoor shot put in 2013 after finishing fifth nationally. The school record holder in both the indoor (65-08.25) and outdoor shot put (62-02.00), he claimed the 2013 WAC outdoor title.
Also in the throws, Samantha Little twice earned all-league distinction in the discus, while Whitley Ellison was a 2013 all-conference selection in that event. Ellison (2nd) and Little (4th) rank among the school's all-time top 5 in the event, and Little also ranks second in the weight throw. Additionally, Heath Skelton ranks second in UTA history in both the weight throw and the hammer throw.
Success has also come in the form of academics. In 2013, Antunovic was named an Academic All-American, while Storic earned that distinction in 2014.
As a collegian, Hayes won five consecutive Southland Conference championships in the pole vault, including three straight during the indoor seasons. He also held the school indoor record, later broken by Rodriguez, with a mark of 17-02.75 meters. He still ranks among the top 5 on the school's indoor and outdoor pole vault charts.
A 2010 graduate of UT Arlington, Hayes earned his degree in kinesiology.