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B-A’s Hayes entering PSFCA Hall

John Hayes was offered induction to the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame a couple of times over the years, but he politely declined, preferring to make it a career-ending honor.

That honor will come Sunday in Harrisburg with Hayes’ enshrinement.

Hayes, the 10th winningest coach in Pennsylvania scholastic history with 323 victories spread over 38 seasons, retired as Bellwood-Antis football coach and athletic director a year ago.

He called his impending recognition, “a great privilege to be included in that fraternity.”

Hayes will be presented by Clearfield’s Tim Janocko.

“This is definitely something that would have happened long ago if John wanted it,” Janocko said. “We wanted to do it sooner. The guy’s a giant in our profession to a lot of young coaches — a mainstay in our state association and our local association. He’s been somebody people have looked up to.”

“For whatever reason, I believed it should happen after you retire,” Hayes said. “I didn’t have any opposition to others who chose to go beforehand, but it was something I wanted to wait.”

Hayes, 72, spent his entire head-coaching career in Bellwood, from 1980 through the 2017 season.

Just as he’s a coach his peers looked up to, he found himself absorbing all he could in the 1970s while listening to the likes of Don Malinak, Jim Williams and Bill Luther.

“I loved going to clinics,” Hayes said. “It gives you something new or reaffirms what you’re doing. I look to people who are part of it now that when I started coaching are there (Hall of Fame) and I admired. To join in that is something that’s very humbling, and I’m quite proud of it.”

Two former Bellwood-Antis coaches, Duke Burkholder and Earl Strohm, are both in the Hall of Fame, but both only started at Bellwood before moving onto DuBois and Altoona, respectively.

Hayes said he also gained much from the coaches he worked under — Steve Magulick and John Schonewolf at Tyrone.

“Everything that was part of our program speaks to things they did,” he said.

The Hall of Fame induction is part of Big 33 weekend activities. The game will be played Monday at Lower Dauphin High School.

“I have a lot of people to thank,” Hayes said.

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