Siena Women’s Basketball Head Coach Ali Jaques has announced the addition of former Saint Francis (PA) Head Coach Joe Haigh as an assistant coach on her staff. The second winningest coach in program history with 93 victories, Haigh led the Red Flash to three national postseason tournament appearances over his six-plus seasons at the helm.
“Coach Haigh brings tremendous experience to our staff,” said Jaques. “He did a phenomenal job at Saint Francis, where he had one of the most efficient offenses in the country. I will rely on him, and I look forward to collaborating with someone of his coaching acumen. Our players will benefit greatly from his experience and knowledge.”
Haigh joins the Saints after spending the past decade-plus on staff at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania, including parts of the final seven seasons as head coach. He guided the Red Flash to the NCAA Tournament in his final full season in 2017-18, and a pair of Women’s Basketball Invitational appearances (2013, 2017) highlighted by both the program’s and Northeast Conference’s first-ever national postseason tournament win in the 2017 WBI.
Haigh led Saint Francis to a 40-14 (.741) record in NEC action over his final three seasons. The Red Flash posted a 16-2 conference mark en route to capturing both the regular season and tournament championships in 2017-18, and set an NEC record with an average margin of victory of 17.9 points in league play.
Haigh piloted Saint Francis to both the program’s most overall (24) and NEC (16) wins in 14 seasons in 2017-18, and a final RPI ranking of 93 which was the third highest mark in school history. The Red Flash ranked 18th nationally in scoring offense posting a program record 2,719 points, stood second nationally in steals (431), and fourth in threes (353).
Saint Francis completed the second largest comeback in NCAA history during the 2017-18 season, overcoming a 29-point third quarter deficit to win in overtime at Portland. Haigh mentored NEC and ECAC Player of the Year and NEC Tournament MVP Jessica Kovatch, who connected for an NCAA record 141 threes while also ranking second nationally in scoring averaging 24.9 points.
Haigh was well-known for instituting a highly successful up-tempo offensive and defensive system throughout his tenure at Saint Francis. In 2016-17, the Red Flash ranked second nationally in both threes (10.9) and blocks (6.9), third in pace (82.9 possessions per game), and seventh in steals (11.9). Saint Francis stood eighth nationally in scoring offense in 2013-14, 30th in 2015-16, and ranked in the top-five nationally in three-point shooting during each of his final three seasons at the helm.
Haigh developed 13 NEC All-Conference selections as well as one Player of the Year, two Rookies of the Year, and two Defensive Players of the Year over his six full seasons as head coach at Saint Francis. He also played an instrumental role in the development of three different players – Alli Williams, Alexa Hayward, and Kovatch – who each ranked in the top-five nationally in scoring.
Haigh previously served as the recruiting coordinator and top assistant coach at Saint Francis from 2008-12. The Red Flash achieved a 47-25 NEC record over his initial four seasons with the program, highlighted by back-to-back NEC Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in both 2010 and 2011.
Haigh first entered the Division I ranks as the director of basketball operations at Virginia Commonwealth University from 2006-08. His initial collegiate coaching experience came as a men’s basketball assistant at Division III Randolph-Macon College under future VCU head coach Mike Rhoades during the 2004-05 season.
Haigh coached high school boys’ basketball as the junior varsity head coach at Benedictine High School in Richmond, Virginia (2005-06), and as an assistant coach at Thomas Jefferson High School in Auburn, Washington (2003-04). He also was an assistant coach for the 16U and 17U AAU programs in Richmond from 2005-06, and served as the head coach for the Puyallup Bulls/Irish AAU team located in Puyallup, Washington from 1997-02.
A 1995 graduate of the University of Notre Dame with his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, Haigh received his Masters of Science in Sport Leadership from VCU in 2005. He also earned his teaching license through the University of Virginia in 2006. Haigh led the Green River Community College team in Auburn, Washington in both three-point and free throw percentage in 1991-92.
A native of Puyallup, Washington, Haigh and his wife, Sherri, are the proud parents of five children: Anna, Teresa, Patrick, Daniel, and Mary. Sherri (Orlovsky) played basketball at Notre Dame, where she is ranked in the top-10 all-time in program history in both three-point and free throw percentage.