The Waves will welcome head coach Tim Hays as the next leader of the Pepperdine women’s basketball program, Athletic Director Steve Potts announced on Tuesday.
Hays comes to Malibu after a year as an assistant on the University of Colorado women’s basketball staff. Before Boulder, he led programs at Southeastern University (NAIA) in Lakeland, Florida and Colorado Christian University (NCAA DII) in Lakewood, Colorado, boasting a 319-113 record as a head coach.
“Tim Hays is a great fit to lead our women’s basketball program as head coach,” Potts said. “His Christian faith and commitment guides his coaching and he has built winning women’s basketball programs all along his coaching journey. We are thankful and fortunate that Tim and his wife Crista will be joining our Pepperdine community.”
At Colorado, Hays helped lead the Buffaloes to a 25-9 season- the best record in 20-plus years- finishing third in the Pac-12 at a #21 national ranking. CU earned multiple top-25 wins, including a run to the NCAA Sweet 16 where they eventually fell to national runner up and home to the 2023 AP Player of the Year Caitlin Clark in #2 Iowa.
“My wife Crista and I are extremely happy to be joining the Waves family,” Hays said. “The leadership of Steve Potts and Jim Gash in this process has truly shown that Pepperdine is ready to be amongst the elite. We have been overwhelmed by the excitement and passion for the women’s basketball program on this campus and feel so blessed to be able to call Malibu our home.”
While at Colorado, Hays’ primary focus was at the point guard position where he coached three Pac-12 All-Conference Team selections as well as coordinated and managed recruiting efforts.
From 2016-2022, Hays steered the helm at Southeastern University in Florida where he became the winningest coach in women’s basketball program history at a 176-13 record over six seasons. His teams did not record a single loss in Sun Conference play while accruing six 26+ winning seasons- including three 31+ winning years. Throughout his tenure at SEU, his teams won six-straight Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships, resulting in six-straight NAIA National Tournament appearances as well as a championship game showing in 2018-19 and a semifinal game in 2021-22. Three of his teams were ranked first in the nation (2017-18, 2019-20 and 2021-22) and 31 of his players earned All-Sun Conference Team selections.
In his first collegiate head coaching stint, Hays led the Colorado Christian women to a 142-50 record over eight seasons and holds the title for winningest coach at CCU as well- in fact, Hays was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2021. Under his tutelage, the Cougars would win the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship in 2012 before leading the program to its first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Tournament championship in 2014-15 and just the second NCAA DII National Tournament berth in program history. Hays wrapped up his time at CCU having garnered two RMAC Tournament championships, two NCAA Tournament appearances and was named the RMAC East Division Coach of the Year in 2009-10. 18 of his players were named to RMAC All-Conference Teams, as well as three Defensive Players of the Year, two Freshmen of the Year and one Player of the Year accolades.
Prior to 2008, Hays worked and lived in Australia where he coached the Women’s National Basketball League’s Canberra Capitals and the Australian Basketball Association’s Launceston Tornadoes after two stints as an assistant at Montana State and Meridian High School in Idaho.
Hays began his playing career at Boise State before finishing up at Northwest Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho in 2002, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work.
Hays is married to his wife Crista who played at Boise State and professionally in Australia.
“We are ready to take this incredible group of women and make this a premier program in the WCC and on the national stage,” Hays said. “This is a special place with phenomenal people and the most beautiful campus in the country -this is going to be fun!”WCC