September 10 - Andy Hayes has been hired as the new coach at Stone Bridge, the school announced today.
“We are very excited to have Coach Hayes as our new baseball coach,” the school’s athletics director, Joan Windows, wrote via email this afternoon. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our baseball team.”
Hayes, 42, coached the past two seasons as an assistant at Salem, serving as the team’s hitting coach and helping the Spartans earn back-to-back Class 4 state tournament appearances. They won the program’s first state title in 2018, defeating Jamestown in the final. This past spring, they lost to Riverside in the state quarterfinals. Salem won 37 of 46 games in his two seasons on staff.
He replaces Mat Shannon, who stepped down after leading the Bulldogs to the Region 5C title and a berth in the Class 5 state tournament this spring. Shannon, who was named the region’s Coach of the Year, left to become an assistant director of student activities at Independence, which opened last month. He was 27-19 in his two seasons.
Hayes, who played at Virginia Tech from 1995-97, inherits a program that has averaged 15.9 wins per season and won eight district championships since fielding its first team in 2001. He becomes the Bulldogs’ fourth head coach, following Sam Plank (2001-15), Andrew Baird (2016-17) and Shannon.
"I have followed Stone Bridge Baseball throughout the years as well, and in my opinion, the program has the potential each and every year to be a championship contender. I am excited and honored to help build on that tradition,” said Hayes, who is the founder and owner of the Gameday Broadcast Network and has served as the Virginia High School League’s voice for football and basketball state tournament broadcasts since 2007.
The son of Tom Hayes, a longtime college football and NFL assistant coach, Hayes won a state championship as a high schooler in Norman, OK prior to playing at Virginia Tech. He moved with his wife, Courtney, and two sons to Roanoke to be closer to her family five years ago and has commuted across the state while operating his business. This summer, the family relocated back to Loudoun County.
Now, Hayes will look to continue the success at a program that is just five years removed from a state title. The Bulldogs play in the Potomac District, one of the state’s toughest leagues, and understands the challenge the program will have competing with the likes of annual contenders Briar Woods and Freedom-South Riding and now with new additions Riverside and Woodgrove.
"It starts with culture, and everyone has to buy in to building something special,” Hayes said. “It takes incredible discipline from everyone in the program to win a championship. I want to see us have fun, but also play with tremendous discipline, effort and passion."
Photo of Andy Hayes courtesy of Salem Baseball