Department SpotlightWhitworth Hires Hayford as Head Men's Basketball Coach
Jim Hayford has been hired as the men's basketball coach at Whitworth College, according to Scott McQuilkin, Whitworth's director of athletics, who made the announcement today. Hayford, who led the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) to within a game of the NAIA Division II national tournament each of the last two seasons, replaces longtime Pirate head coach Warren Friedrichs, who announced his retirement in February.
"We are extremely pleased that Jim Hayford will be leading our men's basketball program," said McQuilkin. "In his eleven years of collegiate coaching, he has proven to be a tremendous recruiter, a successful head coach, and a wonderful fit for Whitworth's mission."
Hayford, who will turn 34 years old in May, becomes the 17th head coach in Whitworth history.
Hayford was head coach at Sioux Falls, where he compiled a 37-27 record, for two seasons. During his inaugural season (1999-2000) he led the Cougars to their first conference playoff appearance in five years. The team finished 15-15 after losing in the SDIC championship game. Hayford's Cougars finished the 2000-01 season at 22-12 and lost to the eventual NAIA Division II champions (Northwestern College of Iowa) in double overtime in the Great Plains Athletic Conference championship game. His team set a school record for wins in a season. Prior to Hayford's arrival, USF was 9-17 in 1998-99.
"I am honored to join the Whitworth Community," said Hayford. "My passion for coaching is consistent with the mission and purpose of Whitworth and that is exciting."
"During the search process, Jim impressed our committee with his vision for our basketball program and his ability to communicate that vision," said McQuilkin.
Hayford follows Friedrichs, who coached at Whitworth for 16 seasons and whose teams won or shared five Northwest Conference titles. Friedrichs was named NAIA Division II Coach of the Year in 1996, Northwest Conference Coach of the Year four times, Little All-Northwest Coach of the Year twice, NAIA Area I Coach of the Year once, NAIA District I Coach of the Year once and NAIA District II Coach of the Year once. He led the Pirates to three national tournament appearances, including a national runner-up finish at the NAIA Division II Tournament in 1996. He had the winningest Northwest Conference team in the 1990s and won the most NWC titles during the same decade. Friedrichs' Whitworth record was 251-195 and he had an overall record of 361-275 in his 21 years of coaching.
"To take over a program that has been led by one of the great coaches in the country is a great challenge and I humbly accept it," said Hayford.
Hayford served as the top assistant coach at Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) from 1990-99. APU won seven consecutive Golden State Athletic Conference titles during that time and advanced to the NAIA Division I Final Four in each of his final two seasons there.
Hayford also coached at the high school level, leading Contra Costa Christian High School in 1987 and Berea Christian High School from 1988-1990.
Whitworth finished 13-12 in 2000-01, losing in the Northwest Conference playoffs to Lewis & Clark College. Whitworth went 9-7 to finish third in the NWC standings. Two starters (guards Kelson Ramey and Ryan Nelson) and one reserve (forward David Rusk) graduated from the team.
"I need to accept the leadership of a veteran squad," said Hayford. "It probably requires me learning more about them than them learning more about me. I am eager to get to know these guys."
Hayford earned his M.A. of Education from Claremont-McKenna College in 1991. He earned his B.A. in Social Science from Azusa Pacific in 1989.
Hayford and his wife Robin have been married for nine years. They have two children, Jayme (6) and Joseph (3).