May 26, 1948|
|Position(s)||Linebacker, offensive tackle|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1974||Georgetown (KY) (assistant)|
|1975||Georgetown (KY) (DC)|
|1983–1984||East Tennessee State (DC)|
|1985–1987||East Tennessee State|
|Head coaching record|
8–7 (NCAA I-AA/FCS playoffs)|
0–2 (NCAA D-II playoffs)
|Accomplishments and honors|
|5 SoCon (2003, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017)|
Eddie Robinson Award (2003)|
5x SoCon Coach of the Year (2000, 2002–2003, 2007, 2010)
Mike Ayers (born May 26, 1948) is the former head football coach of the Wofford Terriers located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He filled the position from 1988 to 2017. Wofford College, with an enrollment of 1,550 students, is one of the smaller National Collegiate Athletic Association college football schools in Division I. The Terriers compete in the Football Championship Subdivision as members of the Southern Conference.
Ayers began his coaching career as a graduate assistant and defensive coordinator for Georgetown College in 1974 and 1975. He again performed the role of assistant during stops at Newberry College and the University of Richmond. In 1980 Ayers arrived at Wofford as defensive coordinator for the Terriers under head coach Buddy Sasser. Ayers followed Sasser to East Tennessee State where he resumed his role as defensive coordinator before taking over the head coaching position in 1985. Ayers was hired as the head coach of the Terriers in 1988 by Athletic Director Danny Morrison over a milkshake at Asheville’s Biltmore Dairy Bar. Wofford moved up to Division I-AA in 1995 and joined the Southern Conference in 1997. Under Ayers, the Terriers have claimed four Southern Conference football championships, in 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2012, and participated in the playoffs six times. Ayers won the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the most outstanding FCS head coach, in 2003 after guiding the Terriers to a 12–2 record. He holds the black belt in karate, and is an accomplished artist and fly fisherman.
Coach Ayers was widely acknowledged for his success in molding players at this small academically challenging school on the field, in the classroom, and in life. Ayers announced his retirement from coaching on December 13, 2017 after his 30th season at Wofford. He is the longest serving coach in Wofford history and has the most wins as well.
Head coaching record
|East Tennessee State Buccaneers (Southern Conference) (1985–1987)|
|1985||East Tennessee State||0–10–1||0–7||9th|
|1986||East Tennessee State||6–5||4–3||4th|
|1987||East Tennessee State||5–6||2–5||7th|
|East Tennessee State:||11–21–1||6–15|
|Wofford Terriers (NCAA Division II independent) (1988–1994)|
|1990||Wofford||9–3||L NCAA Division II First Round|
|1991||Wofford||9–3||L NCAA Division II First Round|
|Wofford Terriers (NCAA Division I-AA independent) (1995–1996)|
|Wofford Terriers (Southern Conference) (1997–2017)|
|2003||Wofford||12–2||8–0||1st||L NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal||3|
|2007||Wofford||9–4||5–2||T–1st||L NCAA FCS Quarterfinal||10|
|2008||Wofford||9–3||7–1||2nd||L NCAA FCS First Round||9|
|2010||Wofford||10–3||7–1||T–1st||L NCAA FCS Quarterfinal||6|
|2011||Wofford||8–4||6–2||T–2nd||L NCAA FCS Second Round||12|
|2012||Wofford||9–4||6–2||T–1st||L NCAA FCS Quarterfinal||9|
|2016||Wofford||10–4||6–2||T–2nd||L NCAA FCS Quarterfinal||9|
|2017||Wofford||10–3||7–1||1st||L NCAA FCS Quarterfinal||6|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
- "Mike Ayers: Head Coach". Wofford Athletics. Retrieved July 17, 2008.
- Drape, Joe (September 24, 2002). "Sports of The Times; At Little Wofford, Big Challenges". The New York Times.
- "Mike Ayers wins 2003 Eddie Robinson Award". The Sports Network. Retrieved July 17, 2008.
- Final poll standings are from The Sports Network Archived 2011-05-03 at the Wayback Machine..