After equaling most victories in 10 years, EWU men’s basketball coach officially inks new agreement
With 40 victories overall in three seasons, Eastern Washington University men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford has been rewarded with a new five-year agreement, EWU athletic director Bill Chaves officially announced Friday (June 13).
The deal scraps the remaining two years of Hayford’s current five-year contract, thus keeping him in Cheney at least through the 2018-19 season. Hayford, Chaves and outgoing EWU President Dr. Rodolfo Arevalo officially signed the agreement earlier this week.
“I am very grateful to Dr. Arevalo and Bill Chaves for this new contract,” said Hayford. “I am very thankful to have the opportunity to coach and direct the Eastern men’s basketball program and lead us into new seasons of success.”
In Hayford’s third season at the helm this past year, Eastern was 7-4 in its last 11 league games and finished 15-16 overall and 10-10 in the Big Sky Conference. The 15 victories equal the most for the Eagles in 10 years since EWU finished 17-13 in the 2003-04 season.
With 40 victories overall and 25 league wins in three seasons under Hayford, this is the best three-year stretch since 2005-08 when Eastern had 41 wins and the best in league play since 2001-04 when the Eagles won 30.
Hayford’s success has translated to other areas as well, particularly through fund-raising and friend-raising via his 6th Man Club.
“We are excited that Coach Hayford will continue to build our men’s basketball program for another five years,” said Chaves. “I feel that our program is headed in the right direction and by doing this at this time, it will help stabilize the foundation by which we are building.”
Since Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I in 1983, no Eastern coach has lasted longer than five years. Hayford, the head coach at nearby Whitworth for 10 seasons before arriving in Cheney, Wash., has now coached and lived in the Spokane area for 13 years.
Although they came a victory shy of a Big Sky Conference Tournament berth, the 2013-14 Eagles finished with three more league wins and five more victories overall than a year ago. Eastern established eight school records, including one league mark.
The best news of all is that the Eagles had no seniors on its 2013-14 roster, and the Eagles return highly-regarded juniors-to-be Tyler Harvey and Venky Jois. Harvey was a first team All-Big Sky selection and earned second team honors on the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 6 team – EWU’s first player honored on that team since Rodney Stuckey in 2007. Jois earned honorable mention accolades for the second-straight year, as well as being the 2012-13 Freshman of the Year in the league. College Sports Madness named Jois (third team) and junior point guard Drew Brandon (second team) to its All-Big Sky Conference squad, and Jois earned first team All-BSC honors from College Hoops Daily.
“We have a dedicated staff and dedicated players who are eager to lead the Eagles into postseason success,” added Hayford, whose coaching staff includes Shantay Legans, Alex Pribble and David Riley. “I am very grateful for them.”