Eastern Washington University and head men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford have agreed to a contract extension that will keep Hayford with the program through 2020. The university announced the deal in a statement, which was reported by Raphielle Johnson of NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk.
“I want to give a special thanks to my staff and players who have given everything they have to turn the program around,” said Hayford. “I’m very appreciative of the support given to me and our program by Eastern’s president, Dr. Mary Cullinan, and the rest of the administration. I really enjoy working with Bill Chaves and we are grateful for his leadership of our department.”
In four seasons with the Eagles, Hayford has led the team to a record of 66-63 (39-35 Big Sky). Last season, EWU won a university-best 26 games and made its first NCAA Tournament since 2004, earning a No. 13 seed and losing to No. 4 Georgetown in the Round of 64. EWU also managed to win the Big Sky regular season and conference championships.
Plenty of success will be achievable going forward, as Hayford could easily become the first coach since EWU joined Division I to stay with the program longer than five seasons. The team responds well to him and has plenty of talent coming in, including graduate transfer and former Saint Louis Billiken Austin McBroom and junior college transfer Rico Nuno.
Hopefully, this is only the beginning of the program’s success under Hayford.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports