FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas has extended the agreement of women’s basketball coach Jimmy Dykes by adding two years to his contract which now runs through March 2020, it was announced by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long on Thursday.
In his first season as the Razorbacks’ head coach, Dykes guided Arkansas to an 18-win season, including a win in the first round of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, helping the Razorbacks earn their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2013. Arkansas upset No. 22 Northwestern and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. For his efforts, Dykes was named one of two finalists for the 2015 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year presented by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Dykes has also made an immediate impact on the recruiting trail signing some of the state’s top prospects to play in Fayetteville.
Dykes was hired by the University of Arkansas in March 2014 and his original four-year employment agreement extended through 2018.
“Jimmy has done a tremendous job in leading all aspects of our women’s basketball program,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “Last season we not only enjoyed competitive success, but made significant progress in building a comprehensive program committed to the development of our women’s basketball student-athletes to their fullest potential. Jimmy has the passion, knowledge and drive to help position Arkansas as one of the top women’s basketball programs in the nation.”
“First, I would like to thank Jeff Long and Chancellor Gearhart for their support and votes of confidence,” Dykes said. “It is a tremendous blessing for me and my family that I get to coach at my alma mater and live in a place that we love so much. I’m excited about the future of Razorback women’s basketball and Razorback Athletics and I look forward to the things that we can accomplish in the coming years. Our recruits and their families know that I will be at Arkansas for the long-term future and that if you want to be a part of something special, this is the place to be.”
In his first season on the Arkansas bench, Dykes guided the Razorbacks to wins over three ranked opponents, the first time since the 2011-12 season Arkansas defeated at least two Associated Press Top 25 programs. In addition, Dykes and the Razorbacks navigated their way through one of the toughest schedules in the country, ranked No. 6 by the NCAA.
In addition to the team’s success, Arkansas celebrated the accomplishments of several individual players on the team as well. All-SEC Second-Team selection Jessica Jackson ranks tied for first in the SEC in points per game averaging 14.9 in 2014-15. Jackson was fifth in the SEC in three-point field goals per game and sixth in free throw percentage in her second season. Senior Calli Berna finished the year first in the league in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.93 average and was second in assists per game averaging 5.2 per contest.
The new product on the floor brought new fans through the doors in 2014-15 as well. Arkansas saw a nearly 29 percent increase last season from the previous season and the season average was the highest since the 2007-08 season.
Razorback women’s basketball finished the year 52nd in the NCAA welcoming 2,346 fans per game according to the NCAA national rankings. Arkansas hosted 14 games this year with 31,503 fans coming to Bud Walton Arena where they helped the Razorbacks to eight home wins against the sixth-toughest schedule in the NCAA in 2014-15.
Arkansas’ largest single game attendance with 4,541 against Nicholls as part of the Razorbacks’ Elementary Day promotion to area school kids. Nearly 4,300 fans saw Arkansas defeat Missouri, 73-55, and the Razorbacks had nine home games with better attendance than last season’s average.
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