Craighead resigns to take head coaching position at San Jose State

State Hornet Staff

Sacramento State women’s basketball head coach Jamie Craighead resigned Monday afternoon to take over the head coaching position at San Jose State. 

She made the announcement to her team just 48 days before the Hornets’ season opener against UC Santa Cruz on Nov. 3.

The news of her departure was a shock to the entire team according to senior shooting guard Alle Moreno.  

“We were all a little bit heart broken, but we all support her decision,” Moreno said. “She will obviously be missed more than words can describe.”

Craighead is known for her up-tempo style offense and full-court pressure defense at Sac State, compiling 51 wins during the last four seasons and appearing back-to-back at the Big Sky Conference semifinals in 2012 and 2013. 

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Craighead said. “I have a great team that I love and enjoy coaching, but at the end of the day, I felt like it was a very good opportunity.”

In her time with the Hornets, Craighead coached former Sac State players, including all-Big Sky forward Kylie Kuhns, Tika Koshiyama-Diaz, and Emily Christensen. 

Prior to receiving the head coaching position at Sac State she was an assistant under Dan Muscatell, and before that she served as an assistant at Portland State and Seattle Pacific University. 

“(Sac State) provided me with my first opportunity as a head coach,” Craighead said. “It was gut-wrenching, and it should be, but I just felt like this was the right move for me.”

Over her last two seasons as the Hornets head coach she was on a year-to-year contact worth a little more than $90,000 in 2011 and 2012, according to the Sacramento Bee’s State Worker Salaries.

Craighead did not comment on the contract she was given, however she said it was not just about the contract and the salary, but also recruiting, stability and job security.

“It was obviously a good move for me in a lot of different capacities,” Craighead said. 

Junior point guard Fantasia Hilliard looks at the coaching change as another learning experience in her college basketball career.

“It’s an opportunity for our team to come together, play hard and believe in ourselves,” Hilliard said. “There are no hard feelings against JC. She was the best coach I ever had, and I wish her the best at her new school.”

But this will not be the last time the Hornets will see their former coach.

Craighead and the Spartans will travel to The Nest to face Sac State on Dec. 7.

“It’ll be tough to be on the other sideline, but I know those kids and they will give me their best shot, ” Craighead said. “It’s going to be a great 40 minutes of basketball.”

Sac State has not named a replacement to take over the women’s basketball program, but will begin a search immediately.

Ryan can be reached on Twitter at @rskuhn