SEATTLE – Jim Hayford resigned as Seattle University men’s basketball coach Thursday afternoon, less than a week after he was placed on administrative leave and a report was published that he had twice repeated racial slurs.
It appears from the university’s news release that Hayford was forced out after four seasons as the team’s coach.
“It is clear to me that Coach Hayford is no longer able to effectively lead the team,” Seattle University Athletic Director Shaney Fink said in the release.
Fink denied a request for further comment, saying that it was personnel matter.
Hayford, whose coached previously at Eastern Washington and Whitworth, did not immediately return messages from The Seattle Times for comment.
Chris Victor will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the season. He was in charge Wednesday as the Redhawks opened the season with a 69-66 win over Alcorn State.
Hayford was placed on administrative leave last Friday, one day before a report published by Stadium Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman said that Hayford repeated the “N-word” once during the summer and again on Nov. 4.
Goodman wrote that the latest incident occurred after a Black player used the word during a scrimmage, which was noticed by an official. Hayford reportedly repeated the word in an effort to curtail its use.
According to the report, Hayford said: “Did you say the N-word?”
Goodman cited unnamed sources who said that Hayford apologized to the team Friday, but a majority of players refused to play for him.
The next day, the university announced that Hayford had been placed on leave. Now he is out.
Seattle University did not divulge any details about what led to Hayford’s resignation, but officials also have not denied what Goodman published in his report.
Hayford had a record of 64-55 at Seattle U. He has an overall record of 424-230, including a stint at Sioux Falls.
Victor coached for two seasons under Hayford at Eastern Washington before joining Hayford at Seattle U when he was hired to replace Cameron Dollar.
Victor helped lead Concordia to a Division III national title as a player in 2003. He has five years of head coaching experience, compiling a 103-39 record at Citrus College in Glendora, California.
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