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ABOUT bob hayes

robert "bullet Bob" Hayes  1942-2002


Robert (Bob) Hayes is perhaps the most well-known Jacksonville, Florida sports legend who grew up on the Eastside of the city. Early historical collections credit Earl Kitchings, Sr. as Hayes' football coach at Matthew Gilbert High, then an all-Black segregated school who discovered Hayes talent during a physical education class on a flag football in seventh grade.  It was there where Coach James Day, later to become director of The Bob Hayes Invitational Track Meet, first saw Hayes run and the two formed a bond that continued throughout their lifetime.

From high school Bob attended Florida A&M in Tallahassee where he became the first black athlete to play in the Senior Bowl game in Mobile, and scored on a long pass from Joe Namath and was named the South’s MVP.

During his four years at Florida A&M he was dubbed "Bullet Bob" for his dominance of sprints from 60 to 100 yards. Hayes lost only two of 62 finals at 100 yards or 100 meters. He was the first runner to run 100y in 9.1, and the first man to better six seconds for 60y indoors. For three straight years, Hayes won the AAU 100yd dash starting in 1962 and the NCAA 200 meters in 1964. He continued his streak from 1962-64 by winning 49 consecutive races over 100 yards or 100 meters. Hayes gained world-wide attention in 1964 by becoming the first person to run 100 yards in 9.1 seconds He also held the world record for sixty yards at 5.9 seconds earning two gold medals in the 1964 Olympics. His anchor leg in the 1964 Olympic relay, making up a four-meter deficit, has been acclaimed to be the most exciting race in Olympic history, bringing an end to a truly remarkable career.

After a remarkable Olympic performance, Hayes was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL, where his speed revolutionized the game forcing other teams in the NFL to change their defenses just to cover him.

The Cowboys won the Super Bowl on Jan. 16, 1972, which made Bob Hayes the only person in the world to have won an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl Ring. He is a also member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.

For the past six decades, the Bob Hayes Invitational Track Meet, the largest one-day Meet in the country, has been a focal point for high school track and field participants from the southeastern United States. 

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