Ron Hayes named 2023 Louis Bonnette Media Award recipient – McNeese Athletics

FRISCO, Texas – Longtime McNeese broadcast member Ron Hayes has been selected as the recipient of the Southland Conference’s 2023 Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award.

Ron Hayes has been a member of the McNeese broadcast team since 1977, serving as a radio analyst for all football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball games. 

Throughout his time, he hosted a 30-minute TV coaches show for football and men’s basketball, airing on local television and regionally on HSE at the time.

He provided color analyst for football TV broadcasts on the local Fox affiliate from 1991-95 and stepped out of the booth from 2015-19 to serve as the school’s sideline reporter for football.

Hayes, a McNeese graduate, will be entering his 46th season as part of the Cowboys and Cowgirls broadcasting team. He handled color commentating for all home ESPN+ broadcasts for football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball last season.

During his involvement with McNeese, he’s served as President of the Cowboy Club, which raises money for all athletic programs. From 1991-94 he was the Director of Institutional Enhancement and was responsible for sports marketing and broadcasting rights. He’s also been a Calcasieu Parish School Board member and is currently a Calcasieu Parish Police Juror.

Hayes is the 11th recipient of the award.  Previous winners include: Longtime Lake Charles, La., radio personality and McNeese public address announcer Bruce Merchant (2021); former television talent and Southland football sideline reporter Carley McCord (2020); former Abilene Christian Sports Information Director Lance Fleming (2019); former sports editor and columnist for the Log Cabin Democrat newspaper (Conway, Ark.) David MCollum (2018); former Lamar play-by-play voice and TV personality Dave Hofferth (2017); Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director Doug Ireland (2016); former Daily Sentinel (Nacogdoches, Texas) Sports Editor Kevin Gore (2015);  retired Sam Houston State Sports Information Director Paul Ridings (2014); and southeast Texas sports journalist and retired Lamar Sports Information Director Rush Wood (2013).
Louis Bonnette was the first honoree in 2012. Bonnette enjoyed a storied career as the first McNeese SID, holding the position for 46 years. As SID, he boasted a national record of 516 consecutive Cowboy football games worked. He was inducted into the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2007 and the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame in 2009.

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