High School Notebook: Hayes Will Return to Coach Potomac (Va.) Girls

By Matthew Stanmyre Alan Goldenbach
Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Potomac (Va.) girls' basketball coach Kendall Hayes, who has coached the team the past month on an interim basis, will return next season to guide the Panthers permanently.

Hayes, who won 423 games and a state championship during 21 years coaching the Potomac boys' team, stepped down after the 2005-06 season to follow the collegiate career of his son, Maryland junior guard Eric Hayes. He took over the girls' position on Jan. 29 after coach Mike Wilson abruptly left the team for undisclosed reasons, leading Potomac to a 8-3 finish that included handing No. 10 Forest Park its first district loss in two years.

"I never would have imagined this," Hayes said. "Life throws you all sorts of change-ups. I didn't see this one coming, but I'm happy that it's come. I'm glad to be back."

A factor behind Hayes's return is that his daughter, Hannah, will be a freshman player at Potomac next year. Hayes also coached Eric for four years on the Panthers' varsity.

"It's an opportunity to spend more time with her and coach her as well," Hayes said. "I'm certainly not doing this just because of Hannah, but it's certainly one of the contributing factors."

Oates Makes Hall of Fame

Wanda Oates, who became one of the first women in the country to coach boys' high school basketball when she took over at Ballou in 1988, has been voted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association's Hall of Fame. She will be inducted on June 23.

Oates, 66, gained national attention in 1985 when she was named Ballou's football coach. Within a week, though, her appointment was rescinded by the D.C. Public Schools' superintendent's office.

Three years later, though, Oates took over the Ballou boys' basketball program, after it had won just 12 games in three seasons. In her first season, the Knights went 17-10. In 1990-91, the Knights won their first D.C. Interhigh East Division title in 21 years, despite not playing any home games because their gym floor was being repaired.

In 1969, Oates started the first D.C. Interhigh girls' basketball tournament -- three years before Title IX. After coaching track, softball and boys' soccer, Oates became the first female athletic director in the Washington area in 1980. She testified on female athletics and gender discrimination before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Competitiveness, and received the Sports Pioneer Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

"It's a great honor to be associated with so many other outstanding coaches, teachers and leaders of young men and women," said Oates, now a substitute physical education teacher at Wilson. "I'm truly, truly humbled."

Langley's Buffo Steps Aside

Langley girls' basketball coach Cheryl Buffo has resigned after 11 seasons. Her teams reached the Virginia AAA Liberty District final six times and won the tournament title in 1999, her first season. The Saxons lost to Madison in the past two Liberty finals.

"I thought about it after last year and decided to come back for one more, but this is it," said Buffo, who notched her 150th career win this season. "The kids need a change."

Staff writer Preston Williams contributed to this report.

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