Sept. 16, 2013
San Jose, Calif.—Jamie Craighead brings an up-tempo offense and stifling defense as she accepts the San José State University head women’s basketball coaching position. Spartan Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier made the announcement.
“I appreciate the opportunity that (Athletics Director) Gene Bleymaier and (Deputy Director) Marie Tuite have given me,” said Craighead. “After hearing about their vision for the women’s basketball program at San José State, I am really excited to take on the challenge of this opportunity.
“I enjoy living and working in Northern California and have good recruiting ties in the area. I can not wait for the challenge of competing in the Mountain West, a league for which I have tremendous respect.”
Craighead comes to San José State after spending the past four seasons at Sacramento State, where she was the winningest women’s head basketball coach in the last 20 years and the only coach to post a winning conference record at Sacramento State since they entered the league in the 1996-97 season. Under her guidance the Hornets reached the Big Sky Conference Tournament for just the fifth (2012) and sixth (2013) times in program history. In those appearances, Sacramento State earned its first tournament wins and reached the semi-final round both years.
The youngest head coach in Division I when she took over the Hornets in 2009, Craighead’s teams, playing a fast-break type offense, led the Big Sky Conference in scoring in each of her four seasons.
Sacramento State set several program records in 2012-13 including field goals made, assists, blocked shots and fewest turnovers committed. In addition, the team’s 19 wins equaled the program’s single-season record, which was set in the 1990-91 season. The Hornets led the Big Sky in points, 3-pointers, and assists and on the defensive end, topped the league in steals and blocks.
During her tenure at Sacramento State, nine of her players garnered All-Big Sky honors. She coached 2011-12 Big Sky Freshman of the Year Fantasia Hilliard, and over 20 of her athletes received Academic All-Big Sky Conference honors for their work in the classroom.
Prior to accepting the top job at Sacramento State, Craighead spent the 2007-08 season as an assistant for the Hornets before being promoted to Associate Head Coach the following year.
Craighead started her coaching career in 2002 under two-time NCAA Division II Coach of the Year Gordy Presnell at Seattle Pacific University. In her three years at SPU, the team posted an 89-5 record, won three PacWest Conference titles, qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament each year and reached the championship game in 2005. After her success in Seattle, she spent two seasons as an assistant at Portland State University before taking a position at Sacramento State.
“We are very pleased to hire Jamie Craighead, who has Division I head coaching experience and who will lead San José State as we begin playing in the Mountain West,” stated Bleymaier. “She will be a tremendous asset to our basketball program, the University and to our community.”
As a collegiate player at the University of Oregon, Craighead led the Ducks to the 2002 WNIT championship after three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. When she finished her career, her 182 3-point field goals made ranked second all-time in Ducks history.
Craighead earned honorable mention Academic All-Pac-10 honors as a senior and graduated from Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in educational studies in 2002.