Head coach Jamie Craighead
completed her fourth season at the helm of the Sacramento State
women’s basketball program in 2012-13. The young coach has
turned the Hornets into one of the most explosive teams in the
nation as her fast break, uptempo offense led the Big Sky
Conference in scoring the last four seasons.
Craighead’s fast-paced style is based on the press and run - playing full-court defense to create turnovers that result in open shots and quick baskets. In 2012-13 Sacramento State led the Big Sky in points per game, 3-pointers per game, and assists on the offensive end and had league best totals in steals and blocks defensively.
Last season the Hornets advanced to the Big Sky Championship for the second consecutive season and earned the program's second all-time postseason win with a 73-60 quarterfinal victory over Idaho State, the defending conference champion. The team went 13-7 in Big Sky play and entered the conference tournament as the No. 5 seed before upending the No. 4 Bengals and advancing to the conference semifinals. With a 19-12 record the Hornets equalled the 1990-91 squad for the most wins in a season in program-history while also recording program best season totals in field goals made (842), assists (523), blocked shots (185), and fewest turnovers (499). During the year senior Kylie Kuhns became the program and Big Sky all-time leader in career rebounds while also ending her Hornet career first all-time in steals and third in points and earning All-Big Sky First Team honors. Senior Megan broke the Big Sky single-season record with 111 blocks, the fourth best blocks total in the NCAA, while junior Alle Moreno led the conference in 3-pointers and broke the Big Sky record in single-season 3-point attempts. Moreno and sophomore Fantasia Hilliard, who led the Big Sky and set the program record for single-season assists, garnered All-Big Sky honorable mention awards.
Craighead guided the Hornets to their fifth appearance in the Big Sky Tournament in program history in 2011-12, but more importantly, Craighead and the Hornets won a game in the tournament for the first time in school history when they upset Eastern Washington, 71-61, in the quarterfinals. Sacramento State won four straight games to close out the regular season led by guard Alle Moreno, who averaged a team-best 15.8 points per game in Big Sky play. While Moreno was lighting it up from the perimeter, forward Kylie Kuhns anchored the middle and led the league in rebounds for the second straight year while ranking No. 3 in the NCAA with 21 double-doubles. Craighead also molded local product Fantasia Hilliard (Sacramento HS) into the Big Sky Freshman of the Year last season, as the first-year point guard became the fifth player in school history to dish out 150 assists.
In 2010-11, Craighead gave major
minutes to five freshmen and three sophomores as the Hornets had to
rebuild following the successful 2009-10 campaign. The development
of young players was most obvious with then-sophomore Kuhns, who
was a revelation during a trying season. Kuhns ranked No. 1 in the
Big Sky Conference and No. 12 in the nation in rebounds, averaging
11.1 boards per game, and she set the single-game school record
with 23 rebounds against San Francisco. The Salem, Ore. native also
ranked No. 3 in the Big Sky Conference in scoring (15.9), No. 2 in
field goal percentage (.497) and No. 3 in blocks (1.2 per
In 2009-10, her first full season as head coach, Craighead led the Hornets to a 15-15 overall record and 10-6 mark in Big Sky Conference play - the most league wins in school history.
Craighead helped turn seniors Charday Hunt and Erika Edwards into arguably the conference’s top 1-2 scoring punch that season. Hunt and Edwards combined to average 28.5 points per game and knocked down 121 3-point baskets. Hunt earned first-team all-Big Sky Conference honors for her efforts while Edwards was named second team all-conference. It was the first time in school history that Sacramento State placed a player on both the all-league first and second teams in the same season.
Craighead was named the Hornets’ head coach on May 1, 2009, and was the youngest Division I head coach in her first season. She spent the 2007-08 season as the team’s top assistant, before being promoted to associate head coach by former head coach Dan Muscatell in the summer of 2008.
Prior to her time in the Green and Gold, Craighead spent two years as an assistant at Portland State. She served as the Vikings’ recruiting coordinator and also worked with the post players.
Before she coached at Portland State, Craighead was an assistant at Div. II powerhouse Seattle Pacific under the guidance of two-time NCAA Division II Coach of the Year Gordy Presnell. Craighead served as Presnell’s top assistant for two seasons, and coached Seattle Pacific to a 99-75 win over Alaska Fairbanks on Dec. 4, 2004, while Presnell was on leave. Seattle Pacific finished the 2004-05 season ranked No. 2 in the nation.
Craighead played collegiately at the University of Oregon, helping the Ducks to three NCAA Tournament appearances in her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons before she led the Ducks to the 2002 WNIT championship as a senior. She finished her career second on the school’s career list for 3-point field goals with 182 and ranked No. 7 in 3-point field goal percentage at 36.9 percent.
Craighead was an honorable mention academic all-Pac 10 selection in 2002. She graduated from Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in educational studies.
A native of Elma, Wash., Craighead attended Elma High School, where she was the Washington 2A Player of the Year and a four-time all-league selection. She finished her career setting school records for points (1,669), assists (653), steals (405) and blocked shots (168).