Kansas.com

Marc Haught is getting back up to speed

Maize athletic director Marc Haught copes with limitations imposed by a frightening accident.

Published April 29 at 4:02 a.m. | Last updated April 29 at 4:30 a.m.

When Maize athletic director Marc Haught sees a need, he fills it. During a rain delay at Maize this week, Haught wanted to get the baseball field in shape to resume play. He'd already checked the radar, and he wanted to rake the infield.

"You know athletic directors," Haught said. "We go 100 mph. It's the mother-hen instinct. It's frustrating because I feel I should be doing things."

Haught knows, though, he's lucky to be alive.

After school on March 3, Haught was riding his bicycle, training for a triathlon, when he was hit by a delivery truck turning from West 21st Street onto Parkdale Street.

"I continued to think, 'Holy cow, he'll stop,' " Haught recalled. "He didn't stop. I landed on his front bumper and windshield. I remember my head hitting the windshield. Fortunately, I don't remember anything else."

Haught suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in his left leg — the bones protruded from his leg. He broke six ribs and a hip, dislocated a hip socket, broke his jaw and suffered a concussion.

He had three surgeries, spending a week at Wesley Medical Center and two weeks at a rehabilitation center, suffering nightmares as he relived the accident.

Shonda Haught, his wife of 26 years, took time off from her job as a first-grade teacher at Enterprise Elementary and has been at his side ever since.

She gave him a painful shot every day for 21 straight days. She attended rehab classes to learn how to help him, including how to get out of the wheelchair and into the car and how to get out of the wheelchair and into bed.

"If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be getting through this," Haught said. "She's been vital."

Shonda admires how well her husband has handled his injuries.

"He's had three days total where mentally he was so done being in a broken body," Shonda said.

She hopes to return to teaching part-time next week, but admits it will be difficult to leave her husband, even for a few hours.

"Now we have an umbilical cord we'll have to cut," she said.

The news of Haught's accident spread shortly after it happened. He's a former president of the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and volunteers every year at the Class 6A and 5A wrestling tournaments.

Heights athletic director Rick Wheeler, who considers Haught a mentor, was one of many who visited the hospital that night.

"Professionally, he's a very active guy," Wheeler said. "He's always willing to help and share in the business with other ADs and people in education. And he's not afraid to build personal relationships with people."

Being away from Maize activities, though, has been tough on Haught, an inveterate workaholic.

It's why Maize superintendent Doug Powers cut off Haught's e-mail account — and only re-opened it when Shonda Haught gave the OK.

"That's just Marc," Powers said. "He goes, goes, goes, so we want to make sure that he doesn't overdo it. We want to make sure he gets well."

Haught has been back at work for a few weeks, but he's limited. He's out of the wheelchair, doesn't use the walker and is now on crutches. He has a golf cart to use on campus.

Carol Hayes, his secretary and family friend, has taken on the task of not only sifting through work issues Haught must take care of, but also with getting him around in his wheelchair or to work appointments.

Haught is glad to be back, and he knows he's pushing himself a bit too much, which drives his wife crazy.

"If you can think of the positive, it's been a positive thing for our family, for our friends, for our faith," he said."... Work is taking a few notches back, and those other three have kind of jumped on the priority list."

Haught is already looking ahead. He had planned to be walking six weeks after the accident, running after 12 weeks and competing in a triathlon at the end of the summer.

"I was unrealistic — or not listening (to the surgeon)," Haught said.

He still can't stand because his shattered lower left leg can't bear weight. So he's adjusted his goals.

He plans to run by the end of the summer and compete in a triathlon at the end of the year.

Check Joanna Chadwick's high school sports blog at blogs.varsitykansas.com. Reach her at 316-268-6270 or jchadwick@wichitaeagle.com.