I’m Hayes.

Hayes Gardner
That’s me.

I was raised in Kentucky, graduated from Grinnell College (Iowa) in 2015 with a degree in History, and then served as an AmeriCorps member for two years in Oregon while working as a freelance sports writer. I next wrote for the Ames Tribune, the Louisville Courier Journal, and, beginning in March 2022, as an enterprise writer for the Baltimore Sun.

In Louisville, I originally covered sports before transitioning in June 2020 to focus on the Breonna Taylor protest movement. My coverage included written portraitsa historical look, and the motivations behind the demonstrations. I also co-wrote an in-depth series which analyzed the roots, and potential solutions, to systemic racism in Louisville.

Our coverage, which included that series, was recognized as a 2021 Pulitzer Prize finalist in the category of Public Service.

I’ve written about a little bit of everything. In college, a colleague and I investigated and revealed that a professor had resigned because the school discovered he had plagiarized his dissertation and other academic works. I’ve since covered high school sports, worked as a college beat writer, voted in the AP Top 25 women’s college basketball poll and have more recently written on Lamar Jackson and a legal battle between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals.

When tornadoes devastated Western Kentucky in Dec. 2021, I spent four days reporting from the field. When the Ever Forward became the largest ship to ever run aground in the Chesapeake Bay, my first story for the Sun was on the very stuck, very big ship.

In 2018, I profiled a former basketball teammate of mine, Jack Taylor, for The Athletic. Jack and I once combined for 138 points in a single NCAA game; I had zero, Jack had the rest.

When I’m not writing, I like to participate. I play basketball or tennis a few times a week, enjoy being outside, and love to explore the country. I’ve been to 44 states in the United States. I’m still searching for the remaining six.

You can follow my work on Twitter, Instagram or email me at hayesgardner1@gmail.com. Don’t be afraid to reach out. I’m a big fan of saying hello.