After 22 years as the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame director, Ted Hayes has announced his retirement.
“He was the face of it,” said Bob Hanson, the president and CEO of the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, and a member of the Hall of Fame’s board of directors since 2001. “There’s a lot of history.… He’s just done a wonderful job of maintaining it. It’s always been a challenge. He’s a great historian. He probably knows more about the athletes in Kansas than anyone I know.”
Hayes started as the director in 1991, when the Hall of Fame moved from Lawrence to Abilene. It moved to Wichita in 2001 and is currently at the Boathouse.
He plans to stay with the Hall of Fame until the end of the year. Events manager Laura Hartley will run the Hall of Fame until a director is hired.
“I leave the Hall of Fame with full confidence that the organization is in very capable hands with Events Manager Laura Hartley and this outstanding group of Directors at the helm,” Hayes said in a statement from the Hall of Fame. “I am so grateful for the 22 years my wife Dana and I have been a part of the Hall of Fame. Meeting the inductees and their families and helping to honor them through the induction process has been very rewarding for me. My heart will always have a special place for the inductees and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.”
Hayes could not be reached for additional comment.
Replacing Hayes will not be easy.
“Without question,” Hanson said. “But we have a board of directors, and we have a very capable young lady over there right now who will be running it from day to day.
“We didn’t know Ted was going to do this at this time. It came on us pretty sudden. We have a transition team that works on it, and we’ll all work together and look at it and figure out the best way to move forward.
“He’s done a great job.”
A public “Farewell Ted Hayes Reception” will be from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Boathouse.