The most successful basketball programs all have a few key elements in common.
They are passionate about the game. The coaches are passionate about their team, the players are passionate about the opportunity to represent their university and the fans are passionate about supporting the program.
All successful programs are filled with excitement. They are exciting to watch and to be a part of.
It takes a lot of people to make a program successful and they all have to be committed to the effort. It starts with the coaches and staff and extends to the players but the best programs in the country take it further. Everyone who impacts the program, from professors, athletic trainers, academic coordinators, administrators and fans, all have to be willing to work toward the same goal of excellence in all areas.
Finally, successful teams have to perform at a high level every day. Whether in the classroom, in the community or on the court, doing things the right way is vital to the program’s success.
The University of Arkansas made a move to become a more successful program on March 30, 2014, when they welcomed Jimmy Dykes as the eighth head coach of the Razorback women’s basketball team.
“After meeting with him and discussing our program, it was clear to me that Jimmy Dykes is not only the best leader for our women’s basketball program, but also the best Coach for the student-athletes in our program,” Long said. “I have known Jimmy for many years but learned of his passion and commitment to his alma mater, the University of Arkansas, when I arrived on campus. I have always respected his tremendous basketball knowledge and his understanding of the game, but as I got to know Jimmy better, l became aware of his strong coaching background including his tenures at some of the nation’s top college basketball programs. Jimmy’s coaching pedigree working with some of the best coaches in the business, combined with his ability to teach the game of basketball, made him the clear choice as the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Arkansas.”
In his first season on The Hill, Dykes made immediate in roads in the state and in the nation. He stated in his press conference that he wanted players to not just be from Arkansas, but to “Be Arkansas”. That phrase has become synonymous with his program. It means more than just keeping in-state players home. It means for all the players, coaches and fans who support our program to embrace all things Razorback.
In his hiring press conference, Dykes vowed to return the Razorbacks to the postseason and to build a foundation on which Arkansas’ fans could look forward to many years of success on the court, in the classroom and in the community.
And he did.
In his first season, Dykes coached a squad of just nine players to an 18-win season and the NCAA second round – just the program’s second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 11 seasons. He coached sophomore Jessica Jackson to her second consecutive All-SEC selection and watched as seniors Calli Berna and Jhasmin Bowen graduated.
He also kept his promise to put a fence around the state signing eight players in his first class including the top three in-state student-athletes. His first recruiting class was ranked No. 20 by ESPN HoopGurlz.
The success in his second season, 2015-16, might not be as evident as the first year – but they are present. The Razorbacks had the program’s best grade point average for the year, kept the best in-state players home, graduated three student-athletes and saw Jessica Jackson become just the fourth player in program history to earn All-Southeastern Conference First-Team honors.
It was another great year to build on.
In his collegiate coaching career, Dykes has made stops at the University of Arkansas, Sacramento State University, Appalachian State University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and Oklahoma State University. Dykes’ experience includes more than 950 games called and more than 3,000 practices observed at all levels of college and professional basketball.
In addition, Dykes spent three seasons working as a college scout for the National Basketball Association’s Seattle SuperSonics before moving into broadcasting with ESPN on a full-time basis. Dykes, who has maintained his home in Arkansas, also served as the Shiloh Christian Athletic Director and worked as a coach with the Saints.
Dykes is married to the former Tiffany (Beasley) and the couple have a daughter, Kennedy. Tiffany is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and was Razorbacks’ head cheerleader during both the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons.
Jimmy Dykes is the eighth head coach in Razorback Women’s Basketball History
Three-year University of Arkansas basketball letterman
Jimmy Dykes attended high school at Estes Park (Colo.) and Fayetteville HS
Jimmy Dykes earned his bachelor’s degree in speech education at Arkansas in 1985
Graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas with a 3.54 GPA
Served under legendary coach Eddie Sutton as an assistant coach at Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State
WHAT JIMMY SAYS
“Everyday guys” beat “sometime guys” every day
If you don’t want to rebound, you don’t want to win
It’s hard to beat relentless
THE 411 CHRONOLOGY
|Assistant Coach||Years||Worked with…|
|University of Arkansas||1984-85||Eddie Sutton|
|Sacramento State||1985-86||Bill Brown|
|Appalachian State University||1986-87||Tom Apke|
|University of Kentucky||1987-89||Eddie Sutton|
|University of Arkansas-Little Rock||1989-90||Mike Newell|
|Oklahoma State University||1990-91||Eddie Sutton|
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
|Seattle SuperSonics||1991-93||College Scout|
|Shiloh Christian||Athletic Director||1994-98; 2003-04|
|1995-2014||Game and studio college men’s and women’s basketball analyst|
|Game analyst for NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament|
|Coverage of the WNBA playoffs|
|College football sideline reporter|
|Born||May 3, 1961|
|Bachelor’s Degree||Arkansas, 1985 in Speech Education|
|Family||Wife: Tiffany (Beasley); married in 2002, daughter Kennedy|
|Tiffany – an Arkansas graduate, 2003|
|High school at Estes Park HS (Colo.), Fayetteville HS|
University of Arkansas || One Season || 1984-85
1984-85 || 23-13/10-6 || NCAA Second Round
Sacramento State || One Season || 1985-86
1985-86 || 13-15
Appalachian State University || One Season || 1986-87
1986-87 || 7-21/3-13
University of Kentucky || Two Seasons || 1987-89
1987-88 || 18-11/10-8 || NCAA First Round
1988-89 || 25-5/13-5 || NCAA Second Round
University of Arkansas-Little Rock || One Season || 1989-90
1989-90 || 20-12/12-4 || NCAA First Round
Oklahoma State University || One Season ||1990-91
1990-91 || 24-8 || NCAA Regionals
University of Arkansas || One Season || 2014-present) || 18-14 (.562)
2014-15 || 18-14/6-10 || NCAA Second Round
Assistant Coach || 130-85 (.605) || Seven Seasons
Head Coach || 30-32 (.484) || Two Seasons
|2014-15||18-14||6-10 (t9)||NCAA Second Round|