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Fayetteville, NC -- Fayetteville State University has announced the hiring of Richard Hayes, Jr. as its 16th head football coach.

Hayes assumes leadership of the football program at FSU with over 15 years of coaching experience. He succeeds Lawrence Kershaw, who was fired earlier this month.fsu rich hayesHayes

Prior to taking the position at FSU, Hayes served as the defensive coordinator for the reigning CIAA Champions, Winston-Salem State University. He joined the WSSU football coaching staff in 2010 as an assistant coach working with the defensive backs and special teams. Hayes helped WSSU win three CIAA Championships (2011, 2012, 2015), make four conference championship appearances (2011-12; 2014-15), and compile a record of 60-13 as a member of the Rams coaching staff.

"I'm honored for this opportunity to lead the football program at such a great institution in Fayetteville State University," said Hayes. "I would like to thank the chancellor Dr. James Anderson, director of athletics Anthony Bennett, all the coaches and mentors that have helped me get to this point, and of course my family for all their love and support."

Hayes garnered a hefty set of accolades during his time at WSSU. Under Hayes' schemes, the Rams' defense has been ranked nationally in the top 10 since 2010. WSSU had a student-athlete named CIAA Defensive Player of the Year for four consecutive seasons (2011-14). Hayes played an instrumental role in WSSU making three consecutive NCAA Regional appearances, including two Region I Championships (2011-12) and finishing as a NCAA DII National Finalist in 2012.

Hayes has roots in North Carolina and South Carolina high school football. He served as the defensive coordinator at W.J. Keenan High School in Columbia, SC (2009) and at James B. Dudley High School in Greensboro, NC (2004-05).

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