Gary Wesley Hayman
August 9, 1951 - October 1, 2020
Gary Wesley Hayman, age 69, passed away on Thursday, October 1, 2020.
Born in Wilmington, DE on August 9, 1951, he was a son of the late Barbara Elizabeth Hayman. Gary grew up in Newark along with his five siblings. He always described his upbringing as a close-knit community that was like a village (this was Church St. you understand). His mother Barbara E. Haley saw to it that he attended Sunday school regularly at Mt. Zion church in Newark and always encouraged his academics & athletics. He attended the New London School until public schools were desegregated round here, after which he attended Central and graduated from Newark H.S.
In addition to his mother, Gary was preceded in death by his brother, Conway Hayman. He will be dearly missed by his loving wife of 42 years, Barbara (Provan) Hayman; son, Wesley Hayman; brother, William Haley; and sisters, Barbara Haley, Michelle Haley; and Denise Hayman.
In his first year of college he met my mother. I’m not sure if sparks flew but they became friends & then they dated. They dated in a time when a white & a black person weren’t supposed to date. But now knowing my father, you know they dated anyway. Because who’s going to tell them no?! He played football at Penn State on teams that played in both the Orange & Sugar Bowl. They dated throughout college regardless of the environment & then married in Dec. of ’77. Gary earned his undergraduate degree from Penn State Univ. & later his Master’s degree from the University of Delaware. But in between he played 3 years in the NFL. 2yrs for the Buffalo Bills & was then drafted in his 3rd by a ‘76 expansion team whom shall go nameless. They moved back to Newark, Delaware & made a home and built his own business Hayman Enterprises Inc. He was greatly influenced by the entrepreneurial example of his grandfather Charles Henry Hayman & proud that his company installed the signs in Philadelphia for Cecil B. Moore Blvd., his mentor and friend. They had their son years later in 1980. The time spent after that was spent not only raising their son but raising many of the youth in the Greater Newark/New Castle area.
This is evidenced in Lifetime Achievement awards from the NAACP and induction in the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame and Delaware Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame. He passed from us on a Thursday, very quietly. The opposite of a life spent in a high school civil rights protest in ‘68 that obligated him to boycott his Sr. yr. of H.S. baseball (in which he was already an All-State stand-out), to in his later years receiving the Lifetime Achievement award for his decades’ long work in the NAACP and serving as President of the Newark Branch for nearly 30 yrs. It does not need to be said, but it should be said anyway that ‘Coach Hayman’ is known to most as ‘Coach’ from a decade of little league coaching from ’93 to around ’05. The names New Castle Steelers & the Wilmington Stars might be names you remember from back then, if you were around. The imprint Gary Wesley Hayman had on the county around him is measured by the players & young Men that have borne their own lives as men, fathers & hopefully coaches. Coach is gone & I’m not sure where to go, but as my father I had a Coach. So I’ll be aight.
Oh & also his time in sports also included being remembered as a teen who captained baseball, basketball and football at Newark High School. The football team in Newark was 33-0 in football with the ever remembered “Three Aces” under Bob Hoffman. Hayman was the state’s second leading scorer and an All-State selection his senior year. He starred in the Blue/Gold All-Star football game, catching seven passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns. In 1973 he shared the Delaware Sportswriters & Broadcasters Assn. “Athlete of the Year” Award. Hayman, at Penn State University, led the country in 1973 in punt return average (19.2 yard average, on 23 returns for 442 yards). He averaged 19.7 yards every time he touched the ball. Against North Carolina State he had an 83-yard punt return. He led Penn State in receiving with 30 catches for 525 yards and three touchdowns. In kick-off returns, Hayman led the team with 237 yards on eight runbacks, averaging 29.6 yards, including a 98-yarder against the University of Maryland. Hayman caught three passes for 35 yards and set up the winning touchdown with a 36-yard return against LSU in the 1974 Orange Bowl. He also played in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. Penn State was 22-2 in Hayman’s two seasons there.
In remembrance of his favorite quote I’d like to leave you with this, “Don’t talk about it be about it!”
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 from 2 pm until 4 pm and again from 6 pm until 8 pm at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home 1000 N. DuPont Hwy., New Castle DE. Interment will be held privately. Face masks will be required for all in attendance.
In lieu of flowers, please join or donate to Newark Delaware Branch NAACP #2355-B or Greater Newark NAACP Youth Council #27AB, P.O. Box 9213, Newark, DE 19714 or https://newarkdenaacp.wixsite.com/newarknaacp