Hayes was born in Wilmington on February 6, 1980. He is a 1998 graduate of James Kenan High School and 2002 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College where he majored in history and played baseball. Hayes earned his J.D. in 2005 from Campbell University. Hayes married his wife, Emily, in 2004 and in 2010 their son, Miller, joined the family. Hayes, Emily and Miller reside in Warsaw. Hayes enjoys jogging, fishing, duck hunting and playing golf.