Jim Hayford leaves EWU to become head basketball coach at Seattle University
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After a six-year stint as EWU men’s basketball head coach, Jim Hayford is heading to the west side of the state. Hayford, 49, has been hired as the men’s basketball head coach at Seattle University.
The hire was first reported by CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish around noon today. Hayford later confirmed the move on Twitter, in which he reached out to his former players:
I am grateful to take this next step in the journey of life and to coach at Seattle University. A special thank you to all my EWU players
— Jim Hayford (@CoachHayford) March 29, 2017
The coaching change follows the 2016-2017 campaign for the men’s team which saw EWU go 22-12 (including 15-1 at home), place 2nd in the Big Sky regular season standings, receive an invite to the College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament and forward Jacob Wiley be named as an AP All-American honorable mention.
In all, Hayford is one of the most successful basketball coaches in EWU history. In 2014, Hayford’s team ended the school’s nine-year drought of missing the NCAA tournament. It was only the second time that EWU had qualified for the tournament. During his tenure at EWU, Hayford went 106-91 (.538). Over the course of the past three seasons, EWU posted its best stretch of basketball, winning 66 games (22 wins/season).
Before his time at EWU, Hayford was the head coach at Division III Whitworth where he posted a 217-57 record (.791) during his 10 seasons at the university.
Hayford will take over from Cameron Dollar, who was fired after eight years as head coach. Dollar was Seattle University’s first head coach when the program made the change back to Division I in 2009. During that stretch, Seattle went 107-138 (.437) and only had two winning seasons.
With Hayford making the switch to Seattle, that makes two EWU head coaches who have been hired away by other schools in the past 72 days, with Beau Baldwin leaving for Cal in January.