Quin Hayes is back where it all started for him. And it has become a dream come true for the former player and assistant coach at St. Viator, who was named the boys basketball head coach of the school earlier this week.
"I was just happy to be considered and interviewed," Hayes said. "Everything just fell into place. I am very excited to be back home."
Hayes was the sophomore coach at St. Viator two years ago and then was an assistant to Mike Howland last year for a team that went 23-6 before losing to Stevenson in the sectionals.
When Howland submitted his resignation last month to take a job as Director of Basketball Operations at Missouri State, Hayes became one of 40 applicants for the coveted job.
As the interview process went along, new St. Viator athletic director Marty Jennings said, that Hayes name kept coming up in the conversation amongst the hiring committee.
"His love and passion for St. Viator really stood out," Jennings said. "As did his knowledge of the game. We are so happy to welcome him home again."
Hayes graduated from St. Viator in 1995 and played on the varsity basketball team for two seasons. He missed all of his junior year with an injury. Hayes came back with a vengeance in his senior year, averaging 25 points that season and was named Daily Herald all-area captain along with netting East Suburban Catholic all-conference honors.
Hayes went on to play for four years of Division I basketball at Monmouth University, where he played in 80 games for the Hawks, hitting 166 3-point baskets. Hayes then went on to play professionally in France.
But coaching was his true love.
"I always knew I wanted to teach and coach," Hayes said. "I loved playing so much, but as you get older, you can't play as well as you're used to. What better place to go back to than St. Viator?"
Hayes played for Hall of Fame coach Joe Majkowski when he was at St. Viator.
"I learned so much from him," Hayes said. "I learned how to play the game the right way. I learned how to share the basketball and play as a team and learned about fundamentals. And he still works at the school, so he will be a great resource for me."
Hayes began to work his way through the coaching ranks, serving as an assistant coach to Bill Wandro at Hoffman Estates and on the staff at York High School.
But his big break came in the Summer of 2012 when he was named as an assistant at the Hoop Group, a prestigious basketball camp on the East coach. Hayes was just one of few high schools coaches invited to work the camp.
"It really helped me grow as a coach," Hayes said. "I learned even more than I could imagine about the game."
"I learned a lot from Howland as well," Hayes said. "We were on the same page a lot on the X's and O's. The year under him was very good for me."
Hayes takes over a team that appeared to be the dream job for any applicant. But just 10 days ago, Roosevelt Smart, who is a Division I prospect, transferred to Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas.
"In my mind, this is still the dream job," Hayes said. "I am excited about the players who are there and not the ones that have left. I wish Roosevelt the best and no ill will at all. My focus is on the guys we have -- and I think we have plenty."
Hayes, who will be teaching at St. Alphonsus in Propsect Heights, has spoken to all of his players including Pat McNamara, Mark Falotico and Richard Muench.
"The players are very excited," Hayes said. "All of them wished me congratulations and said they would be ready to going. As am I."