By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Les Herrman has been involved in hosting teams at state tournaments in Hays for 30 years.

Herrman, 77, enjoys hosting along with his wife, Brenda, who has been a host for 17 years. He now is the chairman of the host coaches committee, and his wife is the assistant chairwoman.

The Class 1A Division II state basketball tournament finished up a little more than a week ago, and Herrman said he is ready to relax.

Herrman and his wife like to travel when they're not hosting state basketball, football or wrestling in Hays.

"My absolute favorite is Maui," Herrman said of a place to vacation. "We spend five weeks in Maui every year, all of January. Then Beaver Creek, Colo., is our second-favorite place, up in the mountains. When it's hot here, we go there. When it's cold here, we go to Maui."

Herrman was a teacher, coach and administrator, starting with Jefferson West -- a middle school in Hays -- in the late 1950s. He retired as the high school principal in Norton 30 years ago and moved back to Hays.

That's when Herrman learned host coaches were needed for state tournaments in town, and he volunteered. He's still doing it, three decades later.

"You feel like you're helping people," Herrman said.

Herrman finds host coaches for the eight boys' teams and eight girls' teams who qualify for the state basketball tournament each March. The host coaches contact the schools and help the teams wile they are in town. The host coaches are at Gross Memorial Coliseum for their team's games.

"People are busy anymore," Herrman said. "It's tougher finding volunteers, because it's very time-consuming."

Herrman and his wife will fill in when a host coach has another commitment and can't be at a game. Such was the case on the last day of the tournament this year, when a couple host coaches couldn't make it.

"As chairman, I'm down here nine hours a day," Herrman said. "Our volunteer coaches are great people. Unfortunately, we had a few cancel out, so we had to cover (for them)."

Herrman and his wife planned to be in Branson, Mo., this week. After that, it's off to Las Vegas, then Beaver Creek and Toronto. Herrman said his wife makes the travel plans.

"I carry the luggage," he said.