CHICKASHA — Regular season might be over, the Drovers still have to face some of the nation’s best in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament, set to begin Friday.
USAO, who enter sixth seed for the second year in a row, will play third-seeded Southern Nazarene in the first round. The Crimson Storm, who swept the Drovers in the regular season at home, are ranked 15th nationally.
The tournament is a double-elimination. Depending on the outcome of the 11 a.m. games, they will play at 3 p.m. against either (5) Lubbock Christian or Rogers State.
CHICKASHA – The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma has named Jennifer Hayden to lead the Drovers’ women’s basketball program as the new head coach.
“She understands the mission of the university,” USAO Athletic Director Brisco McPherson said. “Hopefully, she can bring the program back to where it’s been in the past. We are looking for someone who understands that academics as well as success on the court need to be equal and that’s where her strengths lie.”
Hayden is set to begin at USAO on June 1. She will begin teaching physical education classes in the fall.
Jennifer Hayden joined the USAO as the women's basketball head coach in June of 2012 and she began teaching physical ecuation classes in the fall of 2012.
Hayden comes to USAO directly from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. There, she recruited and coached the 2011-12 American Southwest Conference West Division Newcomer of the Year and had three NCAA Scholar-Athletes. Sul Ross is an NCAA Division III school.
Prior to joining the Lobo staff in 2010, Hayden spent two seasons starting a new program as the head women’s basketball coach at NAIA Division I University of the Southwest in Hobbs, N.M.
Her teams qualified for the Red River Conference Tournament both years she coached at USW. During her two seasons at USW, Hayden had a RRAC Player of the Year, a two-time NAIA All-America selection, six All-Conference selections and numerous student athletes recognized as scholar athletes by the conference as well as the NAIA.
Dedicated to the classroom as well as the basketball court, Hayden’s 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams were both recognized as NAIA Scholar Teams.
Before her time at the University of the Southwest, Hayden served as the assistant women’s basketball coach and director of student activities at Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa.
She also served as a graduate assistant for athletic administration and sports information at West Texas A&M University and was the assistant women’s basketball coach at Oklahoma Panhandle State University after graduating from there.
Hayden was a physical education instructor at Sul Ross. She taught First Aid & CPR, Wellness & Fitness Assessment and Advanced Weight Lifting & Conditioning. She also was an Adjunct Faculty member from 2008-10 at the University of the Southwest, where she taught Administration of Physical Education & Sport and Accounting I.
Hayden graduated with her master’s of education in administration from West Texas A&M. She earned two bachelor’s degrees in accounting and business education from Oklahoma Panhandle University.
Hayden is married to Sam Hayden, who is the assistant baseball coach at the university. Together, they have a daughter, Carlie.