Durrie Hayes, a former Chesapeake College student who built a girls’ softball powerhouse at Easton High, has now done the same thing at his alma mater.
Hayes, who claimed three state titles at Easton, won the 2009 NJCAA Division II Region XX championship and took his team to the Division II World Series in his second season at Chesapeake. The Skipjacks followed up that achievement by earning a share of the 2010 Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference title and reaching the Region XX title game for the second straight season.
Chesapeake, which set a school record with 23 wins in 2009, broke that mark with a 26-10 record in 2010. The Skipjacks’ 49-25 record over the last two seasons has Chesapeake headed in the direction Hayes envisioned when he took over the program in 2008.
"I didn’t want to have the kind of program that occasionally had a good year," said Hayes. "I wanted to have the kind of program that competed year in and year out for state and regional titles and trips to the World Series."
Anyone familiar with Hayes’ prior coaching accomplishments probably isn’t surprised with what he’s done at Chesapeake. Hayes compiled a 232-45 record along with the three state championships with Easton High, and won another three ASA state titles coaching various men’s modified fast pitch softball teams.
"If I just wanted to rack up wins I would have stayed at Easton. That was a great job with great kids and the program is now at the point where it is almost self-sustaining," said Hayes of the Warriors, who won state titles in both 2008 and 2010. "It would be hard to lose with the tremendous amount of talent that Easton currently has.
"I was at the point where a job with more of a challenge was enticing. And a challenge is something that a college coaching position certainly offers," added Hayes.
Hayes graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor of Arts degree after first attending Harford Junior College and Chesapeake College. Hayes lettered in baseball at Harford and at Chesapeake, where he was named to the All-Maryland Junior College second team as a second baseman.
Hayes coached various men’s modified fast pitch softball teams, finishing in the ASA national top 10 six times, including a third-place finish in 1994. For several years Hayes coached men’s teams and the Easton High School fast pitch girls’ softball team at the same time. In 1998, he gave up coaching men’s fast pitch to concentrate completely on high school softball.
In 2000 Easton won the first of its three Class 2A Maryland high school state championships under Hayes, with the other titles coming in 2002 and 2004. In 2005 and 2006 Hayes’ teams lost in the state finals to legendary Calvert High School pitcher Megan Elliott. In his last eight years at Easton High, Hayes compiled a 162-18 record (.900 winning percentage).
The Skipjacks will be seeking their third straight winning season under Hayes and their fifth in the last six years in 2011.