Kansas State coach Tom Hayes remembers his UCLA days

Kansas State defensive coordinator Tom Hayes once held the same role with UCLA

Kansas State defensive coordinator Tom Hayes spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at UCLA, from 1980 through 1988, the last seven as the Bruins’ defensive coordinator.

“I had a lot more hair and it was dark,” said Hayes, whose Wildcats are set to face the Bruins Jan. 2 in the Alamo Bowl at San Antonio.

UCLA won three Rose Bowls during Hayes tenure in Westwood, part of a seven-game bowl winning streak.

Hayes said that then-UCLA Coach Terry Donahue, “gave me an unbelievable opportunity. I was 31 years old and got to spend a decade with that team during a very successful time. A lot of good things happened.”

There are 11 Kansas State players on the roster, all fifth-year seniors, who also have a UCLA connection: Their first game was a 31-22 victory over the Bruins in Manhattan, Kan.

None played in that game, but safety Randall Evans said, “It’s something special to finish with them.”

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