Seattle U will have a new head coach in 2022-23. On Saturday, it was reported that former head coach Jim Hayford was on paid administrative leave. Hayford was under investigation for using a racial slur at a scrimmage last week according to Jeff Goodman. Goodman also wrote that a source told him the environment was toxic under Hayford and that most players didn’t like Hayford.
From the article on Bally Sports:
“Most of the players don’t like him, so this was almost the final straw,” one source close to the program told Stadium. “He’s very emotional, flammable. It can be a hostile environment.”
And on Thursday, the school put out a release that Hayford was resigning as head coach of the Redhawks.
Seattle U athletic director put out a statement regarding the situation:
“Today, I accepted the resignation of head men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford. Coach Hayford has been on paid administrative leave since November 5, following last week’s Redhawk Roundup preseason scrimmage. It is clear to me that Coach Hayford is no longer able to effectively lead the team.
The top priority within the Athletic Department is, and always will be, to support the wellbeing and success of our student athletes—in and out of the classroom and in their chosen sport. We are committed to advancing an athletic community that is inclusively excellent. We will take additional steps to ensure any concerns within the program are addressed and that all our student athletes are seen, heard, and supported. As part of our commitment, Seattle University has initiated a review of the climate within the program.
We also recognize and appreciate the players’ desire to refocus on the season and each game in front of them.”
According to Scott Hanson of the Seattle Times, the school won’t say any more on the matter. It is a personnel issue and the school doesn’t comment further. Jim Hayford also gave a comment to the Seattle Times.
“I have always held the belief that the use of racial slurs has no place in society, despite their origin,” Hayford wrote in a statement to The Seattle Times. “However, my recent attempts at curtailing the use of a repugnant word within my own program was misguided and created division among our student-athletes to whom I have apologized. Given the result, and in the best interest of the program, I have chosen to resign my position as head men’s basketball coach at Seattle U. I wish them all the best this season.”
Late Thursday night, point guard Aaron Nettles put out a tweet with a statement.“The events of the past few weeks have been humiliating and is not indicative of what we stand for as a team. Hearing offensive and racially insensitive remarks from our leader has been both disheartening and emotional. We are thankful for the way in which our athletic department handled the situation, allowing us to refocus our collective effort on the season and each game in front of us. We stand together as we move forward.” – Seattle U Basketball Family
Seattle U won its season opener, 69-66 over Alcorn State on Wednesday at the Redhawk Center. In his first game as a Redhawk, Cameron Tyson hit a game-winning 3-pointer with .8 seconds remaining. Chris Victor is the interim head coach for the time being. Seattle plays at in-state foe Washington State on Friday night at 7 p.m. PT.