Ex-Potomac Boys' Coach Returns to Lead Girls

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By Matthew Stanmyre
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, January 11, 2009

It was not a phone call that former Potomac (Va.) boys' basketball coach Kendall Hayes was expecting on a blustery day in the middle of winter, but the opportunity that it provided rekindled feelings that had never quite gone away.

Hayes, a legendary boys' coach, ended his two-year retirement from coaching Thursday when he was called by Potomac Athletic Director Bill Stearns and asked to take over the girls' basketball team on an interim basis. Hayes will fill in for Coach Mike Wilson, who has not coached the past week, for undisclosed reasons.

Coaching is "something you never forget how to do," Hayes said Friday. "I don't know how it's going to feel, but I'm certainly going to have some fun with it."

Hayes stepped down as the Potomac boys' coach after the 2005-06 season. During his 21-year tenure, he won 423 games and guided the Panthers to nine Virginia AAA tournament appearances, including the state championship in 1995. He retired from coaching, he said, so that he could focus on watching his son Eric play basketball at the University of Maryland, where he is a junior guard.

"This came up pretty quickly, and I asked Kendall for a favor," Stearns said. "I can't imagine any kid that would not be grateful to even have him for two days."

Hayes said he would be on the sideline when Potomac opened AAA Cardinal District play Friday night at Freedom-Woodbridge. Hayes declined to comment on how long he might coach the Panthers this season or the reasons surrounding his appointment.

"I was asked to help out, and that's what I'm doing," Hayes said.

Hayes has remained close to basketball and Potomac since stepping down as boys' coach. He teaches driver education at the school, and he also coaches the Prince William Virginians AAU team, which his daughter Hannah plays on. Hayes also travels to watch most of his son's games at Maryland.

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