With nearly three decades as a collegiate soccer coach, Hylton Dayes has compiled a diverse background of experience as both a successful coach and an accomplished player while becoming the longest-tenured coach at the University of Cincinnati.
Dayes is in his 14th season as head coach at Cincinnati but his 29th in the college coaching ranks. He has served as a head coach for 24 seasons, during which time he has compiled a 201-195-54 record. He led the Bearcats to their third-ever appearance in the NCAA championships in 2006 and has put together a 104-110-35 mark as UC's head coach, good for No. 2 on the Bearcats' wins list. As an assistant coach, Dayes helped develop teams that made three appearances in the NCAA championships. As a player, he earned all-America honors in all four seasons of competition as Wright State University.
Highlighted by NCAA Tournament teams in 2003 and '06, Dayes has led the Bearcats during a pair of conference transitions, first from Conference USA to the BIG EAST and now into the American Athletic Conference. During the team's first year in the American in 2013, the Bearcats posted a 6-12-1 mark, highlighted by a 2-0 upset over sixth-ranked Louisville on Senior Night.
Cincinnati has made the conference tournament in three of the last four seasons. In 2010, the Bearcats advanced to the BIG EAST Championship semifinals for the first time in school history and posted a final record of 7-5-7 overall. UC knocked off No. 5 Connecticut in penalties in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals and set a school record for goals against average with a 0.68 GAA.
In 2008, Dayes led one of the youngest teams in Division I soccer to a BIG EAST Tournament berth, UC's fourth in four years as a member of the elite conference. UC posted a 7-10-2 overall mark playing a torturous schedule, which included matches against eight ranked opponents. The Bearcats fielded a team with 17 newcomers and first-year starters in nine positions.
Dayes' 2007 squad qualified for its third straight BIG EAST Tournament and won its first conference tournament match, a 2-0 win at Providence. Kenny Anaba became the third straight first-team all-BIG EAST selection and the fourth Bearcat to be drafted by an MLS team, as he was selected in the supplemental draft by Real Salt Lake.
Dayes led UC to a BIG EAST Red Division title in 2006, just the second season in the prestigious league for the Bearcats. UC earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament after finishing 11-5-2 during the regular season and reaching as high as No. 14 in the national rankings. Dayes tutored Omar Cummings, who earned first-team all-America honors, the first player in school history to do so. Cummings then became the third Bearcat to be drafted by a Major League Soccer franchise under Dayes' watch when he was chosen by the Colorado Rapids in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft.
In 2005, Dayes led the Bearcats to a 10-7-2 overall record and a third-place finish in conference play. UC was ranked as high as No. 15 in the nation and reached the BIG EAST Tournament in the school's first year affiliated with the conference.
In the first three seasons in the BIG EAST, the Bearcats won a division title, earned seven postseason all-conference awards, and made an NCAA appearance. Dayes has authored six wins against nationally-ranked opponents over the last three seasons, including a victory against No. 1 Connecticut in 2005.
Dayes led UC to a third-place Conference USA finish in 2004. Six Bearcats earned all-C-USA recognition and three players moved on to the professional ranks following the season. UC defeated perennial power Saint Louis on the road and knocked off undefeated ninth-ranked South Florida at home during a six match unbeaten streak late in the campaign.
Dayes led UC to just its second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and a regular season C-USA title in 2003, garnering C-USA Coach of the Year honors. He produced a winning conference record in each of his first four years at UC.
A 1988 graduate of Wright State, Dayes compiled a 32-37-8 record in four years as head coach of his alma mater's men's team, highlighted by an 11-7-3 slate and the program's first ever appearance in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Tournament final in 1998.
Dayes began his coaching career at Wright State, serving as the men's assistant in 1986 and the head women's coach from 1987-1994. During his tenure, the Raiders amassed a 64-48-11 slate.
In 1994, Dayes left Wright State to become the men's assistant at James Madison, helping direct the Dukes to a 51-13-6 record and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the Elite Eight in both 1994 and 1995. Dayes returned to Wright State in 1997 to head up the men's program.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Dayes enjoyed a distinguished playing career at Wright State from 1982-1985. A four-time all-Mideast, all-Ohio and team MVP selection, Dayes is the only athlete in school history to be named all-American all four years of his career. He also is one of three student-athletes to have his jersey retired at the school.
Dayes played on the professional level for the Dayton Dynamo of the National Professional Soccer League for two seasons and the Orlando Lions of the American Professional Soccer League for one year.
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Dayes graduated with a degree in electrical systems engineering. He is a former chair of the NSCAA board and chairman of the Black Soccer Coaches Committee, as well as a Region II Olympic Development Program coach. He is accredited with the NSCAA Advanced National Coaching diploma, the USSF National A license, as well as being a member of the NSCAA National Academy Coaching Staff.
Dayes was married to Karen Ferguson in 2008. The couple gave birth to a son, Brandon, in December, 2008.