Jim Hayford

Eastern Washington, head coach Jim Hayford agree to contract extension through 2020

Leave a comment

Prior to last season Eastern Washington had just one NCAA tournament appearance to its credit, back in 2004. Head coach Jim Hayford’s team changed that, winning 26 games and the Big Sky’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with players such as Tyler Harvey, Venky Jois and Ognjen Miljkovic leading the way. As a result of that success, the school has decided to reward Hayford with a new contract.

Thursday it was announced by the school that the two sides have agreed on a contract extension that will run through the 2019-20 campaign.

Hayford’s Eagles put together the program’s most successful season as a Division I member, not only winning 26 games (which included a win at Indiana) but also winning 14 conference games. Now comes the tough part for Eastern Washington: accounting for the loss of three of their top four scorers (Harvey, Miljkovic and Drew Brandon) with Jois being their most productive returnee.

Among Eastern Washington’s additions are grad student Austin McBroom, who played his last two seasons at Saint Louis. The Eagles also add 6-foot-8 junior college transfer Rico Nuno and four freshmen to the program. Forwards Bogdan Bliznyuk, who averaged 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2014-15, and Felix Von Hofe (5.1 ppg) should figure more prominently in the rotation as the Eagles look to earn the Big Sky’s NCAA bid for a second consecutive year.

Eastern Washington gives head coach Jim Hayford a new five-year contract

Leave a comment

After a successful late-season surge in the Big Sky, Eastern Washington announced a new five-year deal for head coach Jim Hayford on Friday. The Eagles finished 15-16 overall and 10-10 in the Big Sky last season but the program went 7-4 in its last 11 league games without a single senior on the roster.

Eastern Washington hadn’t reached the 15-win mark since the 2003-04 season and Hayford is 40-54 in three seasons at the helm.

The new deal for Hayford scraps the remaining two years of the coach’s original five-year contract and runs through the 2018-19 season.

“I am very grateful to Dr. Arevalo and Bill Chaves for this new contract,” said Hayford in the release. “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.”

The Eagles will be led by rising juniors Tyler Harvey and Venky Jois in the 2014-15 season. The 6-foot-4 Harvey is coming off of an All-Big Sky First Team selection after averaging 21.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while the 6-foot-7 Jois averaged 13.4 points and eight rebounds per game last season.