DILLON, S.C. (WMBF) – The “winningest coach at Dillon High School” is stepping down after a storied career.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to be the head football coach at Dillon High School,” Wildcats coach Jackie Hayes said in a statement.
During 29 years as head coach, Hayes finishes with an overall record of 336-56, 29 winning seasons and seven state titles, among other accomplishments.
“To the players, I hope that I have made half the impact in your lives as you have made on mine,” Hayes said.
In 1999, he added District 55 state representative to his already impressive resume, balancing politics and coaching for over 20 years.
Ronnie Cox has lived in Dillon County for 60 years and has had the chance to see Hayes’ impact on the field and in the community.
“In the long run, Jackie has done a great job and as he retires he’s going to be missed,” said Cox.
Hayes has been a Dillon Wildcat player, assistant coach and head coach. He said stepping down is difficult, but his time as a Wildcat has been nothing but a blessing.
“I’m sure I’m going to miss it, there’s no doubt about that, but I always said I wanted to go out on a high note and go out the way I wanted to go out, and I’ve had that opportunity so I’m going to take advantage of it,” said Hayes.
Hayes is thankful to his wife and children along with many others in the Wildcat family who’ve supported and celebrated with him over the years.
“This gets a little emotional, because when you do something for so long and the investment you have in it. It’s difficult but I’m at peace with my decision and all the community and the support they’ve done,” said Hayes.