Seattle men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford has been placed on administrative leave and the school is reportedly investigating incidents in which he allegedly used racial slurs. 

“Men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford was placed on administrative leave Friday, November 5. As this is a personnel matter, the Athletics Department will have no further comment at this time,” Seattle U athletic director Shaney Fink said in an email Saturday. 

Several messages to Hayford were not immediately returned. 

According to Stadium Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman, Hayford used the “N-word” during the summer and Thursday. Goodman reports the latest incident occurred after a Black player used the word during a scrimmage and was called into question by an official. 

Hayford then repeated the word, Goodman writes, by asking the player “Did you say the N-word?”

Sources told Goodman that Hayford apologized to the team on Friday, but several players refused to play for him. 

Chris Victor, who has been a SU assistant the past four seasons, will take over interim head-coaching duties. 


During his four seasons, the 54-year-old Hayford posted a 64-55 record. The Redhawks were 12-11 and 4-5 in the Western Athletic Conference during a season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic. 

SU was picked sixth in the WAC preseason coaches poll and sophomore guard Darrion Trammell was tabbed the conference’s preseason player of the year. Junior guard Riley Grigsby also all-WAC preseason first-team recognition. 

“We have a chance to be pretty good,” Hayford said a week ago. “We return our starting lineup. I’m really looking forward to this season.”