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Updated: March 2, 2022 @ 8:10 am
Former South Charleston High School head football coach Donnie Mays is now at the helm of the Hurricane High Redskins squad.

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Former South Charleston High School head football coach Donnie Mays is now at the helm of the Hurricane High Redskins squad.
Just as the calendar was switching over from 2021 to 2022, the Putnam County Board of Education approved the hiring of Donnie Mays as head football coach at Hurricane High School.
The move on Jan. 3 came because of the resignation of Jeremy Taylor in November.
Mays is no stranger to the folks at Hurricane, as he faced them as head football coach of South Charleston High School for the past nine years and the two teams played each other several times as members of the Mountain State Athletic Conference.
I caught up with Mays recently and talked to him about the move.
“Hurricane is the type of place I have always had my eye on,” he said. “I had spent 16 years at South Charleston and figured it was time to do something a little different. So, when some folks in the (Hurricane) community reached out to me to gauge my interest, I decided to reach out of my comfort zone and apply for the job.”
Mays had a record of 55-43 during his coaching tenure at South Charleston, with eight Class AAA playoff berths, including a 2020 state title when his Black Eagles were declared champions after the remaining games of the playoffs were canceled due to the pandemic.
The Hurricane football program was not a stranger to the Class AAA playoffs, making it in nine of 10 seasons under Taylor.
Mays knows the foundation is there moving forward, saying, “I wanted to put myself in a program that is hungry to win. It reminds me a lot of how South Charleston was when I arrived as an offensive line coordinator in 2006. They were very hungry to win, excited about change and ready to get things rolling. It’s a nice fit.”
When Mays spoke to his new team for the first time, his message was an easy one and quite clear. “We just talked to the kids about being first at everything we do. Whether it be the first time they make it to a semifinal, a state championship game or possibly win one. Just think about being first in competition in drills, be first in that game that night. We want to set our own standard and see where it takes us.”
It didn’t take long for Mays to get things going after accepting the position on Jan. 3. “We have been lifting basically every day, Monday through Thursday and the kids are always doing something on their own on Friday or Saturday. That includes just playing some pickup among themselves or doing some running. I have been pleased with the turnout, as we are averaging 65 kids in the weight room,” he said.
Coming into a new program can be a challenge, and Mays says he knows having patience is a key. “I’m getting to know a lot of the kids. Right now, I’m not putting a lot of stock in who started last year. Right now, it is an open slate, getting a feel for the kids. Finding out who are the leaders, seeing who is working hard and going from there.”
Besides playing against Hurricane during his years at South Charleston, Mays is familiar with all the conference competition and knows his work is cut out for him and the team.
“It’s great high school football, it’s as good as it gets in the state as far as the conference goes. Every week you know you have to bring your ‘A’ game, and that’s what we plan to do.”
Mays, a 1998 Herbert Hoover graduate, received degrees from West Virginia State University and West Virginia University.
Recently, it was announced that former NFL All-Pro Carl Lee will be replacing Mays at South Charleston High.
Joe Stevens lives in Scott Depot with his wife, Angie, their son, Christian, and their two cats, Oriole and Mustache.
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