Mike Ayers was born in Georgetown, KY in 1948. He played linebacker, offensive tackle for football, played on the baseball team, and competed in gymnastics and wrestling at Georgetown College in his hometown. After his playing career and graduating from Georgetown, he joined the football coaching staff in 1974 as an assistant for two seasons. He stayed as a college football assistant coach until 1985 with stops at Newberry College, Richmond, Wofford College, and East Tennessee State.
After two seasons as the defensive coordinator at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) he was hired as the head coach. Coach Ayers stayed at ETSU for three seasons before taking the head job at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. A job he held for 30 years until retiring after the 2017 season.
At Wofford, he compiled a 207-139-1 (.596) record with five Southern Conference Championships (2003, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017), two trips to the DII Playoffs (1990, 1991), and eight trips to the FCS Playoffs (2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017). During Coach Ayers’s legendary career, he was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year five times and led his team to 9 wins or more in a season 10 times. In 2003, he won the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the most outstanding FCS Head Coach in the country.
Overall, Coach Ayers was the longest-serving head coach in Wofford College history, recording the most wins (207) in program history. His 30 years with Wofford will always be remembered by Wofford’s faithful for their toughness, competitiveness, and his trademark triple-option offense. He is a 2022 inductee of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.