Birthdate: August 23, 1943
Birthplace: Portsmouth, OH
High School: Portsmouth (Ohio) HS (1961)
College: Ohio University (1961-1964)
Year Inducted: 2020
A longtime Dayton-area resident who seemingly always was around the game, Mike Haley is no stranger to the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. In fact, he was a player on the 1963-64 Ohio University team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and was inducted into the Hall in 2017. The Bobcats won the Mid-American Conference title in 1964 and stunned Kentucky in NCAA action.
By that point, Haley already was used to playing the role of spoiler and pointing his team to success. He achieved southern Ohio legend status by leading Portsmouth High School to the 1961 Class AA title, which culminated with a 50-44 win over Urbana at St. John Arena in Columbus. Haley scored 20 points in that title game to cap off a memorable senior season in which he earned first-team All-Ohio honors.
Scrappy as a player and just as fiercely competitive as a coach, Haley quickly established himself as a force on the sidelines. He began his coaching career at Roosevelt High School in Dayton but moved on to run the program at Dayton Roth after Roosevelt closed. He demanded his teams pressure the ball over the court and run the floor as much as possible. As a result, Roth displayed a high-octane style that few opponents could handle.
The Falcons captured a state title in 1976 and won back-to-back crowns in 1981 and 1982. After Roth also closed its doors, Haley became the head coach at yet another Dayton Public League school, Dayton Dunbar, and put together another powerhouse outfit in winning the 1987 Class AAA championship – the first in school history. After resigning his post at Dunbar, Haley returned to Portsmouth and coached at Portsmouth HS through the 1994-95 season. He retired with a sterling career mark of 334-97 and four state titles.
Haley passed away in April 2017 at the age of 73. He enters the Hall of Fame posthumously and also brings with him the recognition of a few of the state’s best-ever high school teams.
Longtime Kettering Alter coach Joe Petrocelli considered Haley both a rival and a friend and said of him, “Mike was the most competitive coach in the city, and probably the toughest coach to beat I faced. No matter what we tried, he had a strategy to combat it.”