Seattle University Wednesday named Jim Hayford as its men’s basketball coach, replacing Cameron Dollar, fired by the Redhawks last week. Hayford comes to Seattle U. from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, where he spent the last six years as head of the Eagles’ program.
“I am thrilled to welcome Coach Hayford and his family to Seattle University,” said athletics director Shaney Fink. “Coach Hayford has a history of success in developing programs that compete on the national level. He is a proven winner, a committed educator, and a passionate leader, and we are excited for him to bring that blueprint of success here to Seattle U.”
Hayford has been a head coach for 18 seasons, with a record of 360-175 during stints at Eastern Washington, Whitworth (NCAA DIII) and Sioux Falls (NAIA). He has coached in nine national postseason tournaments, including six (2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) at Whitworth and three at EWU (2015, 2016, 2017).
“It is a great honor to be asked to serve as the head basketball coach at this great Jesuit Catholic institution,” said Hayford. “I humbly move into this position with a desire to lead a championship program that graduates outstanding leaders. The history of the basketball program here is rich and unique. We will work tirelessly to build a program that will return Seattle University to the NCAA Tournament.”
In 2016-17, the Eagles were 22-12 with a 13-5 mark in Big Sky Conference play. With Hayford at the helm, the Eagles went to the NCAA Tournament (2015), the CBI Tournament (2016, 2017) and earned a Big Sky regular season co-championship and tournament title (2015).
Under Hayford, the Eagles had one Big Sky Conference Player of the Year (Jacob Wiles, 2017), two Freshmen of the Year, 12 all-conference selections, seven NABC All-District selections, two Associated Press honorable mention All-Americas and one NBA draft pick (Tyler Harvey, 2015).
The Eagles reached 20-plus wins in two of the past three seasons (2015, 2017) and had at least 10 conference wins during the past three (2015, 2016, 2017). That includes the top two win totals in 30 seasons as a member of the Big Sky, with 14 in 2015 and 13 in 2017.
“My first task at Seattle U. is to come alongside these players and get to know them while doing all I can to aide them in becoming the best players, teammates, leaders and students that they can be,” said Hayford. “I have accepted this position because I feel the potential of this program is great and can capture the devotion of basketball fans in this great city.”
Hayford earned his bachelor’s degree in social science from Azusa Pacific in 1989 and his master’s in education from Claremont Graduate School in 1991.