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Coach Jim Hayes' jersey retired during memorial tourney

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

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Media Contact: Teresa Newton

ARLINGTON - The jersey of one of UT Arlington's true champions will be retired at a special ceremony Saturday, Nov. 8, at Texas Hall, 701 W. Nedderman Drive.

No. 11, the jersey of the late Jim Hayes, founder and coach of the Movin' Mavs wheelchair basketball team, will be retired during the last game of the first Jim Hayes Memorial Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. The ceremony is set for halftime of the game between UT Arlington and the University of Alabama, which starts at 7:30 p.m.

Hayes wore the jersey when he played with the Movin' Mavs before becoming the team's fulltime head coach. A banner commemorating Hayes and his No. 11 will hang in Texas Hall.

"Jim was a real Maverick, championing for the rights of disabled individuals to have an even playing field in college, sports, career and life," said Dr. Frank Lamas, vice president of student affairs. "He was a great administrator and coach and an even better individual. We celebrate his achievements every day and the legacy of his outstanding work that opened doors for all in Texas, our country and the world."

Doug Garner, the Movin' Mavs new coach, joined Hayes as an assistant coach in 2007.

"He changed the whole cognitive structure of how people view students with disabilities, wheelchair athletes and the whole world of wheelchair basketball," Garner said. "He raised the bar for this program to get other programs in the International Wheelchair Basketball Association to rise up, too."

Hayes injured his spinal cord in a diving accident at age 18. He became the first disabled student to live on campus at UT Arlington and served as president of the Handicapped Student Association. He challenged the University's top officials to live as he did, in a wheelchair, and their experience led to more accommodations for students with disabilities, years before the Accommodations for the Disabled Act arrived in 1990.

After graduation, he worked for the University, creating the Office for Students with Disabilities and forming wheelchair basketball and tennis teams. He became the Movin' Mavs full-time coach in 2000, who won seven national championships in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.

Randy Snow, one of his former players, became the first wheelchair athlete inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004. Many of his players represented UT Arlington at the USA World Championships and the Paralympics. Hayes, a wheelchair road racer, won a gold medal in the 1984 Paralympics.

His program at UT Arlington was one of the first in the country to offer full athletic scholarships for students with physical disabilities.

The first Jim Hayes Memorial Wheelchair Basketball Tournament schedule is:

Friday, Nov. 7,

  • 3 p.m. UT Arlington vs. Oklahoma State University, Maverick Activities Center, 550 W. Nedderman Drive
  • 7 p.m. UT Arlington vs. University of Arizona, Maverick Activities Center, 550 W. Nedderman Drive

Saturday, Nov. 8

  • 11 a.m. UT Arlington vs. University of Missouri, Maverick Activities Center, 550 W. Nedderman Drive;
  • 7:30 p.m. UT Arlington vs. University of Alabama, Texas Hall, 701 W. Nedderman Drive.

The tournament wraps up UT Arlington's first Disability Awareness Week, sponsored by the Office for Students with Disabilities.

Individuals needing special accommodations for the event should contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at (817) 272-3364 or (800) RELAY TX.

Contact (817) 272-3364 or www.uta.edu/disabilty to learn more about Disability Awareness Week.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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