Tim Hays named Pepperdine women’s basketball coach

Athletic Director Steve Potts said Hays is a great fit to lead the women’s hoops program 

The Pepperdine Waves women’s basketball team has a new head coach. 

Tim Hays, an assistant coach on the University of Colorado women’s basketball staff last season, was announced as Pepperdine’s coach on April 4.

Hays said Pepperdine is ready to be among the elite. He added that he and his wife Crista are excited to be part of the Waves family.

“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,” he remarked. 

Pepperdine Athletic Director Steve Potts said Hays is a great fit to lead the women’s hoops program. 

“His Christian faith and commitment guides his coaching, and he has built winning women’s basketball programs all along his coaching journey,” Potts explained. “We are thankful and fortunate that Tim and his wife Crista will be joining our Pepperdine community.”

Hays was hired last June by Colorado and was key to helping the Buffaloes post a 25-9 record and advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 last month. 

His primary focus at Colorado was the point guard position. Hays coached three Pac-12 All-Conference Team selections and coordinated and managed recruiting efforts. 

Hays is replacing Kristen Dowling as Pepperdine’s head coach. She stepped down from the position in late February. Dowling was the team’s coach for four seasons.

Assistant coach Brian Rosario coached the team in the West Coast Conference Tournament after Dowling left.

Pepperdine finished the season with a 11-19 record. The Waves’ top scorer was sophomore guard Ally Stedman at 15.6 points a game. Stedman and graduate transfer guard Marty Walls were WCC All-Conference honorable mention. 

Hays was the head coach at Southeastern University in Florida before heading to Colorado. He coached at Southeastern from 2016-22 and became the winningest coach in the women’s basketball program history. Hays had a 176-13 record in six seasons while winning at least 26 games each year. He coached Southeastern to six consecutive Sun Conference regular season and tournament titles. That led to six appearances in the NAIA National Tournament, including a championship game appearance in 2018-19. 

Hays coached Colorado Christian to the National Christian College Athletic Association National Championship and two Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament championships during his first college head coaching stint from 2008-16. The new Pepperdine coach accrued a 142-50 record at Colorado Christian and is also that program’s winningest coach ever. Hays was inducted into the Colorado Christian Hall of Fame in 2021 and was named the RMAC East Division Coach of the Year in 2009-2010.

Hays played college basketball at Boise State and Northwest Nazarene before graduating in 2002. In his initial years after college, he lived in Australia and coached the Women’s National Basketball League’s Canberra Capitals and the Australian Basketball Association’s Launceston Tornadoes. He was also an assistant coach at Montana State and Meridian High School in Idaho. 

Pepperdine, Hays noted, is a special place.

“We are ready to take this incredible group of women and make this a premier program in the WCC and on the national stage,” he stated. “This is going to be fun!”

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