Skip to main content
Charlie Hayes played for Detroit Mercy from 2015-18 and has been an assistant coach since 2018.

Detroit Mercy Alum Charlie Hayes Promoted to Titans' Head Coach

June 11, 2024
Press Release
Detroit Mercy Athletics

DETROIT, Mich. — The University of Detroit Mercy men’s lacrosse will be led by an alum and a professional, as former standout midfielder Charlie Hayes has been named the third coach in school history. 

Hayes — who played for Detroit Mercy from 2015-18 and has been an assistant coach since 2018 — succeeds Chris Kolon, who stepped down from the position late in the season.

“There was a tremendous amount of national interest in our head coaching position, but coach Hayes’ passion for the University and the program was second to none,” said Director of Athletics Robert C. Vowels, Jr. “He has been a Titan for a long time, and he had a great vision for the program. I am excited to see him lead us back to that championship-caliber team.”

“I appreciate all the support from those involved in this process,” said Hayes. “I want to thank Robert Vowels, Mike Miller, President Donald Taylor, and everyone on the search committee for their support and belief in me. I am very grateful for this opportunity and excited to get to work!”

Aside from his duties as an assistant coach the last few years, he is also in his sixth year as a professional. He started his career in the Major Lacrosse League in 2019 before moving to the Premier Lacrosse League in 2021 with the Whipsnakes. He is now in his third year with the Waterdogs after playing in 12 games last season and tallying five points on three goals and two assists, 17 ground balls, and seven caused turnovers, helping the team reach the championship game.  

Hayes started his coaching career at UDM as a graduate assistant and Director of Lacrosse Operations in 2018 before becoming an assistant coach in 2021. He has been the defensive coordinator for the last three years and was in charge of coordinating team travel and logistics, assisting with student-athletes’ academic development, coordinating the use of facilities, and arranging alumni events and fundraising.

“I have been here for 10 years, starting as a student-athlete, and my love for Detroit Mercy is unmatched,” said Hayes. “Becoming the leader of this program is exciting and something I don’t take lightly.”

Related Article
Men's, Women's Head Coaching Changes for 2025
Read More

Hayes also helped the program through its transition from the MAAC to the ASUN and the pandemic. 

The short-stick defensive midfielder walked on and starred for the Titans from 2015-18, helping the team to its first two winning seasons, a school record for wins, three postseason trips and advancing to one MAAC championship game.

Hayes was one of the best defensive midfielders right from the start as a freshman and earned First Team All-MAAC Short Stick Midfield and MAAC All-Tournament as a senior and Second Team All-MAAC as a junior.

In his final year as a Titan in 2018, he tallied career highs with 34 caused turnovers and 83 ground balls - both team highs - to go with a career-best 14 points on nine goals and five helpers. He led the MAAC and was seventh in the nation with 2.13 caused turnovers per game, the seventh-highest rate in school history, while the 34 total caused turnovers were tied for the most ever by a short-stick midfielder in NCAA history. 

His 83 ground balls was second in school history and second in the MAAC, while his 5.13 ground balls per game were third in the league and 26th in the nation.

He ended his career playing in 58 total games with 70 caused turnovers and 1.21 caused turnovers per game, both third in school history, along with 147 ground balls, sixth in the record books, and 21 points on 15 goals and six assists.

Off the field, he was a three-time member of the Detroit Mercy Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and a two-time recipient of the MAAC Academic Honor Roll and All-Academic Team. 

In 2021, Hayes was taken in the second round, 15th overall, in the Premier Lacrosse League Entry Draft. The native of Shelby Township, Michigan, and product of Eisenhower High School had played professionally with the Denver Outlaws of the MLL in 2019 and 2020, helping the team reach the championship game in both seasons. In 21 career games with the Outlaws, he tallied five goals, 48 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers. In 2021, he played in six games with the Whipsnakes and had 10 ground balls and a caused turnover, helping the team reach the Championship game. He has suited up for the Waterdogs since 2022 and was part of the PLL’s title team in 2022. 

He graduated with a degree in Business in 2018 and a master’s in Business Administration from the University in 2020.