College Sports

Jim Haney, NABC executive director and influential KC sports figure, to retire in 2020

National Association of Basketball Coaches executive director Jim Haney, right, will retire next year, he announced this week.
National Association of Basketball Coaches executive director Jim Haney, right, will retire next year, he announced this week. KC Star file photo

Jim Haney, executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches since it moved to Kansas City nearly three decades ago and the primary force behind the creation of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, has announced his retirement from the NABC, effective in 2020.

“Serving the NABC and the great game of basketball has been the honor of my lifetime,” Haney said in a statement. “I have always believed coaches play a vital role in our society that extends far beyond the court, and I went to work every day with that in mind.”

Haney, 70, spent five seasons (1978-83) as Oregon’s basketball coach before transitioning into college sports administration. He served as commissioner of the Missouri Valley Conference and Big West.

In 1992, Haney took over the NABC, which moved its office from Connecticut to Overland Park, Kansas, to be closer to the NCAA’s national office, then also based in Overland Park.

The office moved to downtown Kansas City in 2004 and the NABC was the driving force behind the creation of the College Basketball Experience and National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, which opened at Sprint Center in 2007.

In 2017, Haney was named one of the 20 most influential people in Kansas City sports by The Star.

“Jim Haney has been our profession’s leader for almost 30 years,” Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He has taken the NABC to amazing heights and helped us progress in countless ways. He exhibited a steadfast commitment to serving the needs of coaches from all levels, which isn’t an easy thing to do. ...

“And even in retirement, I’m confident his wisdom and insight will continue to impact the NABC for years to come. I consider Jim a great friend, and the game should consider him a great friend.”

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