KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jim Haney, the longest-tenured executive director in National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) history and one of the most influential leaders in college athletics, has announced he will retire effective Sept. 30, 2020.
“Serving the NABC and the great game of basketball has been the honor of my lifetime,” said Haney. “I have always believed coaches play a vital role in our society that extends far beyond the court, and I went to work every day with that in mind.”
“To all of the coaches I have had the privilege of working with at the NABC – coaches from every level of the sport - I offer my most sincere gratitude.”
Since beginning as just the fourth full-time executive director in NABC history in 1992, Haney’s impact on the coaching profession and college basketball has been undeniable. He oversaw the development of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and College Basketball Experience in Kansas City, which provide a permanent home to celebrate the game’s tradition-rich history.
Haney established the national “Guardians of the Game” campaign in 2001, which has raised awareness of the off-court roles coaches play as leaders, educators, advocates and servants. Under his guidance, the NABC formed a partnership with the American Cancer Society to launch Coaches vs. Cancer, which for over 25 years has raised millions of dollars and united coaches in the fight against cancer. His efforts grew the NABC to nearly 5,000 active members and elevated the annual NABC Convention into the nation’s premier professional development event for basketball coaches.
Haney has been instrumental in strengthening the relationship between coaches and NCAA leadership. Throughout his tenure, the NABC has played an influential role in shaping many of college basketball’s key policies, including student-athlete academic requirements, NBA Draft legislation, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship selection process, men’s basketball playing rules, and the game’s recent reform efforts.
Also central to Haney’s role was serving as executive director of the NABC Foundation, which supports a series of charitable and educational causes along with managing the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and CBE. Under his watch, the NABC Foundation introduced the NABC Benevolent Fund and the annual Court of Honor Gala, which recognizes outstanding contributors to the game.
Haney is a former member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, and has also served on the USA Basketball Board of Directors. He currently holds a position on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee, which is charged with strategic oversight of the college game.
Prior to the NABC, Haney was commissioner of the Big West Conference and the Missouri Valley Conference, and was the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Oregon. He was a basketball student-athlete at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1971.
“Few individuals have positively influenced college basketball like Jim Haney,” said Notre Dame head coach and current NABC President Mike Brey. “We as coaches are better off for having had Jim represent us over the last three decades. His impact on coaches, both professionally and personally, cannot be overstated.”
The NABC Board of Directors will oversee the search and succession plan for the new executive director, which is expected to begin following the 2020 Final Four. Specific details on the search process will be announced at a later date.
What they’re saying about Jim Haney:
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke head coach
“Jim Haney has been our profession’s leader for almost 30 years. He has taken the NABC to amazing heights and helped us progress in countless ways. He exhibited a steadfast commitment to serving the needs of coaches from all levels, which isn’t an easy thing to do. Jim’s vision of starting the NABC Foundation was brilliant and fulfilled the need for a Hall of Fame dedicated solely to college basketball. We as a sport owe a debt of gratitude to Jim and his wife Carol. And even in retirement, I’m confident his wisdom and insight will continue to impact the NABC for years to come. I consider Jim a great friend, and the game should consider him a great friend.”
Roy Williams, North Carolina head coach
“Jim Haney’s retirement from the NABC gives me mixed emotions. I’m happy for Jim and Carol that they will be able step away and enjoy their family. But at the same time, I’m sad for the NABC because he has done an unbelievable job as our leader. Jim has tremendous character, the highest ethical standards, and a 100-percent focus on what is best for the NABC. He has held a thankless job, and at times has been very underappreciated. But those of us who have been heavily involved with the NABC feel blessed by his leadership. I truly appreciate and admire the job he has done.”
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse head coach
“Jim Haney’s fingerprints are all over college basketball. His work has ensured that coaches have a respected voice at the table, and he’s never failed to conduct himself with the highest level of integrity. Jim has been an advocate for all coaches, and more importantly, is a dear friend.”
Tubby Smith, High Point head coach
“Jim Haney transformed the NABC. His longevity has been remarkable, and he has grown the NABC in a way nobody else could. His whole persona epitomizes integrity, and he has shown an unwavering faithfulness to basketball coaches. He is truly a Guardian of the Game and an incredible role model for all coaches. I love Jim and have so much appreciation for him.”
Charlie Brock, Springfield (Mass.) head coach
“As a 40-year member of the NABC, including the last 15 on the Board of Directors, I have seen an amazing transformation of the NABC under the leadership of Jim Haney. The relationship between the NABC and the NCAA has never been better thanks to Jim’s diligence. He has gone to great lengths to recognize the needs of all levels of basketball.”
Lon Kruger, Oklahoma head coach
“The NABC made enormous progress during Jim Haney’s tenure. His leadership earned the NABC and the coaching profession confidence in the eyes of the NCAA. And all the while, he led with the utmost integrity.”
John Thompson Jr., Georgetown coach emeritus
“I am extremely gracious and appreciative of the extraordinary input Jim Haney has had in the interest of coaches, student-athletes and the community as a whole. Jim isn’t simply good, he is one of the best.”
Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball
“For more than 25 years, Jim Haney has been a deeply respected and principled leader of the NABC, dedicated to supporting coaches and their lifelong positive impact on student-athletes and the great game of basketball. Jim has been an invaluable partner in so many initiatives to improve the college basketball experience. I wish Jim and Carol endless happiness in retirement and look forward to celebrating Jim’s career with the NABC in the coming year.”
Tom Jernstedt, former NCAA executive
“Jim Haney had a distinguished career as both a coach and administrator. The state of college basketball is in a very good place today, and Jim played a significant role in getting it there. I’ve long admired Jim’s professional skills, and I’m thankful for our strong personal relationship. I wish him the best in retirement.”