SCOOBA – Courtland Hays has been hired as an assistant football coach at East Mississippi Community College, as announced this week by EMCC head football coach Buddy Stephens.
Working primarily on the offensive side of the football with EMCC's running backs, Hays previously gained a decade's worth of valuable experience at NCAA Division II football powerhouse North Alabama, including spending the past five years as a part-time assistant coach and graduate assistant for Hall of Fame coaching great Bobby Wallace at UNA. Having most recently coordinated North Alabama's football video department by breaking down game video and scouting opponents, Hays was an integral part of the staff that guided the Lions to four consecutive Gulf South Conference championships and a national runner-up finish last season.
"I'm thrilled to be joining a great staff of coaches here at East Mississippi Community College," Hays said. "This is an unbelievable opportunity for me, and I can't wait to get started."
With Hays also having assisted with UNA's quarterbacks, the Lions put together a composite record of 39-10 the past four seasons that resulted in four straight NCAA Division II playoff appearances. Annually ranking among the Gulf South's team statistical leaders, North Alabama's 2015 squad led the conference in total offense and scoring average. Among the many all-conference players he worked with throughout his stint at UNA, Hays coached four-time All-GSC running back and 2016 Baltimore Ravens free agent signee Lamonte Thompson.
Along with having the privilege of coaching with Wallace the past five years, Hays also gained valuable experience working with former UNA football coaches Terry Bowden and Mark Hudspeth, who are currently head coaches at Akron and Louisiana-Lafayette, respectively. During his first five seasons as a North Alabama staffer, Hays was a part of the Lions' 2008 Division II semifinal-round playoff team and their Gulf South Conference championship club the following year.
Under Bowden at UNA, Hays got a taste of front office work by assisting current University of Akron director of football operations Ben Murphy before transitioning to the field. Hays' coaching versatility both on the sidelines and behind the scenes can be traced back to his early years at North Alabama when Hudspeth hired him as a college freshman in 2007 to work with UNA's equipment manager as a student assistant.
A product of Tuscaloosa's Northridge High School, Hays received an undergraduate degree in sports management from North Alabama in 2012 and stayed on the Lions' staff to earn his master's in higher education administration.