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Clay Mayes III

Clay Mayes III

Chickasaw & Cherokee

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Year Inducted



Clay Mayes was the head cross country and track coach at Bacone College (BC), University of Antelope Valley (UAV), and coached a group of cross country and track student-athletes in Oklahoma.

Between 2011 and 2019, Mayes guided his student-athletes to five NAIA National Titles including 2017 5000m and 10,000m titles at the NAIA Outdoor Track Nationals, 2016 and 2017 Mile titles at the NAIA Indoor Track Nationals, and the 2016 Cross Country title at the NAIA Cross Country Nationals.

While at BC and the UAV, Mayes recruited nearly 30 cross country and track student-athletes the first year for each program while representing 20+ tribes. His athletes at BC and UAV went on to obtain three Top 20 Team National Finishes and one Top 10 Team National finish at the NAIA Cross Country Nationals, while obtaining BC’s first and only Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) title with a win at the 2016 SAC Cross Country Team Championship and a win over two-time defending national team champion Oklahoma City University. Mayes’s athletes acquired 21 All-American honors for both cross country and track.

Mayes was named SAC Coach of the year, and Midwest Coach of the year while coaching at Bacone College.

As a high school coach, Mayes had 27 State Champions for cross country and track. Most notable honors include Arya Bahrein’s 5k Cross Country State Meet Course Record, Ben Barrett setting Oklahoma’s Mile State Record, being a two time-Footlocker National finalist, having a 14.51 5k and setting Oklahoma’s 3200m state record in 8.57. Following Ben’s records one year later, Zach Black (Cherokee) eclipsed Ben’s Mile State record with a 4.09.

A Claremore, Oklahoma native, Mayes graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2011 with a degree in Psychology.

Mayes was a high school All-American honored runner with a sixth place finish at the Nike Outdoor Track Nationals 5000m in 15.11. As a college cross country and track athlete, Mayes competed for Oklahoma State University and University of Oklahoma, and was a scorer on the 2009’s 12th-place finishing team at the NCAA Cross Country National Championships, had a 14.16 5000m personal best, and was named Big 12 All-Conference for the 10,000m.

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