Chris Victor
Seattle U head coach Chris Victor had the interim tag removed three days before leading Seattle U to a regular season championship. Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

Top Stories of 2022: No. 9 – Chris Victor Has Interim Tag Removed

Heading into the 2021-22 season, it might be safe to say that Chris Victor did not plan on being the head coach of the Seattle U Redhawks. At least, at that time.

But, that changed rather quickly just a few days ahead of the start of the 2021-22 season.

Victor was named the interim head coach four days ahead of the season opener after then-head coach Jim Hayford was placed on administrative leave.

Reports came out that Hayford was under investigation for using a racial slur during a scrimmage.

And one day after the Redhawks beat Alcorn State in their season opener, Hayford resigned.

It might not be the way Chris Victor envisioned becoming a head coach. Victor had been the Associate Head Coach on Hayford’s staff for the past four years.

But, Victor took a veteran squad and hit the ground running. And by veteran, I mean extremely experienced.

Darrion Trammell was back. Riley Grigsby was back. Emeka Udenyi was back. Add Houston transfer Cam Tyson and Washington State transfer Brandton Chatfield to the mix and there were some high expectations in the Pacific Northwest.

Winning Ways

Victor won seven of his first eight games as interim head coach. And after struggles to a 2-3 finish in non-conference play, the Redhawks took off in WAC play.

Seattle U began WAC play with eight straight wins. Something that has never been done in the 10 years as members of the WAC. And after back-to-back losses at GCU and at New Mexico State, the Redhawks won four straight games to stay in contention for the regular season crown.

Back-to-back losses to New Mexico State and Utah Valley put that goal in jeopardy.

However, three days after a win over then-Dixie State, Seattle U Athletic Director Shaney Fink decided to make a significant change.

As you can see, Fink removed the interim tag and made Chris Victor the 18th head coach in Seattle University history.

“I am grateful to President Peñalver and Shaney Fink for the incredible opportunity to continue to lead this basketball program, and it is an honor to serve as the head men’s basketball coach at this prestigious university,” said Victor. “I am excited for what still lies ahead this season for this special group, and look forward to building on the success we have achieved and the energy being generated around the program. My family and I couldn’t be happier to be in Seattle and continue establishing our roots here.”

From Interim Head Coach to WAC Champion

Well, that special group capped off the season in a special way at the Redhawk Center just four days later.

With its 74-66 win over Chicago State to end the regular season, Seattle U earned a share of the WAC regular season title.

The Redhawks lost in the WAC semifinals, 78-76, to Abilene Christian to end a historic run.

Victor lead the Redhawks to 23 wins. The last time Seattle U won 23 games in a season was in 1957-58. Along with that, it was the 15th 20-win season in program history. And, as mentioned above, Seattle U’s first-ever WAC regular season title.

Victor was named Don Haskins WAC Coach of the Year and District 6 Coach of the Year following the 2021-22 season. He was also named a finalist for the 2022 Joe B. Hall and Hugh Durman Coach of the Year awards. The Joe B. Hall award is presented annually to the top first-year coach in Division I college basketball. The Hugh Durham award, is presented annually to the top Division I mid-major coach in college basketball.


About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Click Here to Get Your NBA Gear

Enjoy Las Vegas

Buy and Sell Your Tickets with StubHub

Get Your MLB Gear at the MLB Shop

Subscribe to WAC Hoops Digest

Enter your email address to subscribe to WAC Hoops Digest so you never miss a beat.

Book with

Sign Up for Amazon Prime Today!

Subscribe to WAC Hoops Digest via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to your favorite college hoops site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: