Arkansas hires ESPN analyst Dykes as women’s basketball coach

FAYETTEVILLE — Jimmy Dykes, an ESPN college basketball analyst, has been hired as Arkansas’ women’s basketball coach.

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long announced Dykes’ hiring Sunday morning. He becomes the eighth women’s basketball coach in the program’s history and replaces Tom Collen, who was fired last month after seven seasons.

“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.”

Dykes, who is an Arkansas graduate, has worked for ESPN since 1995. The 52-year-old Dykes often worked as an analyst during Arkansas’ basketball games.

The Arkansas women’s basketball job will be his first as a head coach.

Dykes played for Arkansas in the 1980s and started his career as an assistant for Eddie Sutton at Arkansas (1984-85). He also worked for Sutton at Kentucky (1987-89) and Oklahoma State (1990-91). Dykes was an assistant at Sacramento State (1985-86), Appalachian State (1986-87) and Arkansas-Little Rock (1989-90).

His last stint as a college coach came at Oklahoma State in 1990-91.

Dykes was a scout for the Seattle Supersonics for three seasons (1991-93). He also had two stints as athletics director for Shiloh Christian School in Springdale from 1994-98 and 2003-04.

Arkansas will formally introduce Dykes during a press conference in Bud Walton Arena at 6:30 p.m.