Former Vol Joe Black Hayes Dies At 98

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WVLT/Submitted) -- Starting guard and team captain under General Neyland, Joe Black Hayes, passed away at the age of 98 in Murfreesboro Monday night.

A Murfreesboro native, Hayes was a letterwinner for the Vols from 1935-37 in football, wrestling, and track and field.

Visitation is Thursday night at the Woodfin Memorial Chapel from 4-8 CST, and the service is Friday at First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro at 11 AM. The church is located at 200 E. Main in Murfreesboro.

Hayes captained the Vols in his senior season under the direction of Robert Neyland in 1937 on a team that went 6-3-1, helping to set up the 1938 National Championship team.

Hayes graduated from UT in 1939 with a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and on the same day of graduation, June 5, 1939, he married his first wife, former Rubye Elaine Cothran of Eagleville, Tenn., who passed away in 1991.

After his Tennessee career, Hayes went on to found the wrestling and track and field teams in 1950 and 1955 respectively at Middle Tennessee State while also coaching the football team as a line coach and defensive coordinator.

During his tenure MTSU won six OVC titles in a 10-year span and the Blue Raiders went 133-57-7 making the program’s first four bowl appearances.

He is survived by his sons, Joe Black Hayes, Jr., Rodney Hayes and his wife Karen, Larry Hayes and his wife Kathy, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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