PARKERSBURG - Parkersburg native Mike Hayden - head high school football coach and athletic director, and for eight years, the executive director of the WVSSAC - has been selected to receive a National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citation.
Hayden and 11 others will be awarded their 2013 Citations on June 25 at the 94th annual NFHS summer meeting in Denver, Colo.
The Citation recipients are 12 leaders in high school activity programs across the country, with the award designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation, and fine arts/performing arts programs.
The NFHS Citation is one of the most prestigious and highly-regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.
Retired from his West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission head position in 2007, Hayden, now 70, began his coaching career in 1965 under Earle Bruce at Massillon (Ohio) Washington High School. After returning to his hometown in 1968, Hayden was head football coach at Parkersburg South High School for 14 years (1970-83) and compiled a 86-55 record before serving as AD as his alma mater, Parkersburg High School, for 15 years.
"You're nominated basically by your state association, and then they have to vote on it as to whether they accept it or not," explained Hayden. "So I feel honored and privileged. It's a prestigious award because it's a national award, and that's what makes me feel so good about it."
Hayden said that he "felt good about his (varied athletic) background when I became the (WVSSAC) executive director, because I felt like I had really a well-rounded background that allowed me to have expertise for that position."
And even after he retired, Hayden continued being involved in various community activities, most notably as the Parkersburg spokesman for the 2008 national ESPN Titletown contest, in which Parkersburg finished as runner-up. "I was really honored to do it, and felt privileged that folks selected me to represent this town," he said.
Hayden specifically wanted to thank both current WVSSAC executive director Gary Ray, "who nominated me" for the NFHS Citation, and his Ohio counterpart, OHSAA commissioner Dan Ross, "who backed it up," for their efforts on his behalf for the award.
"That's two pretty good people, and two good friends, so I felt really good about them standing up and supporting me in this," said Hayden.