EWU to extend Hayford’s contract

Eastern Washington is in “agreement mode” on a new five-year contract for basketball coach Jim Hayford, athletic director Bill Chaves said Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s not finalized, but it’s going through the process,” confirmed Chaves, who said that the deal is both a reward and a key piece in building stability in a program that has known little since the Eagles’ move to Division I in 1983.

Since then, no Eastern coach has lasted longer than five years.

The extension would replace the two years remaining on Hayford’s current five-year contract,  thus keeping Hayford in Cheney at least through the 2018-19 season.

Financial terms of the new deal have not been released; Hayford’s current base salary is $99,500 a year.

Since moving from Whitworth three years ago, Hayford is 40-54 overall and 25-31 in the Big Sky Conference. He inherited a veteran team in 2011-12 and reached the Big Sky tournament despite lacking an established point guard.

“Then we really hit the reset button,” Chaves said. With the youngest team in the Big SKy – and 14 different starting lineups – in 2012-13, the Eagles were 7-13 in league play and 10-21 overall.

This year, Eastern won seven of its last 11 games, but fell one game short of the seven-team conference tournament after going 10-10 in the Big Sky and 15-16 overall.

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