The event highlighted significant contributions that individuals and YMCAs have made to the development of volleyball in the YMCA. Four men and one YMCA were honored at the event. This year's inductees, besides Hay, included Gene O. Chambliss, Robert A. Bertucci, the late Richard "Cappy" Caplan, and the Licking County Family YMCA of Newark, Ohio.
Tom Hay received both his bachelor and master’s degrees from Indiana University where he served as the captain of the tennis team. After graduation, he learned his volleyball skills from playing and coaching volleyball in numerous YMCAs in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. He joined the Springfield College staff in 1966, where he coached the Men’s and Women’s Volleyball teams for 22 years. His overall record during that time was 675 wins, 286 losses, and 20 ties for an impressive 69.8 winning percentage.
In 22 years as the men’s coach, the Pride had 408 wins, 178 losses, and 17 ties while his women’s teams compiled 267 wins, 108 losses, and 3 ties. Tom’s men’s squad represented the East in the 1971 NCAA Men’s Championships at UCLA, and in 1976 Springfield placed fourth at the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament. Two years later, his Springfield squad was ranked second in the East following a best ever 37-7 record.
Coach Hay received the EIVA “Coach” Emeritus Award in June 1987 for his “lifetime commitment to the sport of volleyball”. He was the New England “Coach of the Year” five times in men’s volleyball and Eastern “Coach of the Year” in 1972 and 1974. In October of 2007, Tom was inducted posthumously into the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame.
A noted clinician, Coach Hay traveled to such places as Aruba, Germany, and Sri Lanka to help train coaches and teach skill classes. In addition, there are many coaches in the world of volleyball today because of the teachings of Tom Hay. There was a whole generation where Tom Hay was synonymous with the word volleyball.
The YMCA Volleyball Hall of Fame was established in 1995 in celebration of the sport's 100th anniversary. In 1895, William Morgan, a Y instructor and a Springfield College alumnus, invented the sport of volleyball.
Each year, the YMCA Volleyball Hall of Fame Committee selects individuals and YMCAs for induction. With the addition of this year's inductees, 73 individuals and 21 YMCAs have been inducted. YMCA memorabilia and historical data can currently be found in the National Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, Mass.
"It is a pleasure to honor those being inducted into the YMCA Volleyball Hall of Fame," said Neil J. Nicoll, YMCA of the USA President and CEO. "Through their energy, achievements, and love of volleyball, these exceptional sportsmen and this great YMCA have joined other pioneers in a history dating back to 19th century America."