According to Athletic Director, Lori Frey, “Joanna brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to our department as we expand opportunities for Wilson’s student-athletes. She is up to the challenge of starting two new programs, and we are confident she will build a strong foundation for both the women’s and men’s teams, positioning them for long term success in the NEAC and Division III.”
Before taking the helm at Wilson, Hayes spent two years at Gettysburg College as the assistant track and field coach. Serving as the team’s jumps coach, Hayes helped coach several standout athletes for the Bullets.
From 2009 to 2011, Hayes spent two seasons at Dickinson College, serving as an assistant for the cross country and track and field programs. In the 2009-10 season, she helped coach the men’s program to conference titles in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. That season Dickinson men’s cross country team also finished fifth at the NCAA Division III Championships. During her time at Dickinson, she also helped coach the 2011 NCAA Division III champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and the 2010 NCAA runner-up in the steeplechase and 5,000-meter run.
Hayes graduated from Kutztown University in 2009 as a three-time Academic All-American with a degree in leisure and sports studies. Hayes was a standout distance runner for the Golden Bears making four NCAA Division II cross country championship appearances. She was also a four time all-conference and all-region selection during her time as a student-athlete. On the track, Hayes helped set several outdoor program records, including the distance medley relay, the 4x800-meter relay, the mile, and the 1,000-meter run.
Hayes is eager to take the helm of Wilson’s newest sport offerings for student-athletes, and will begin by focusing on establishing traditions and building a positive team dynamic and culture for both programs.
"I am excited and honored to be named the head coach for Wilson College's men's and women's cross country teams. I am looking forward to building a strong foundation for these teams and helping student-athletes perform at a high level both on the cross country course and in the classroom,” said Hayes. “The last 14 years of my life have included competitive running in one form or another, and I'm excited to share my passion and experiences with Wilson College.”