Yavapai Junior College Basketball Returns

by Anthony Ray | Posted on Saturday, October 30th, 2021

After year's without a men's and women's junior college basketball program, and after many years of success in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) and nationally, Yavapai Junior College has announced their return to men's and women's junior college basketball during the 2022-2023 junior college season. The program, which was once heralded among the top junior college programs in the country, discontinued their basketball programs in 2011, and have not competed since. The program recently announced, in exciting fashion, their return to basketball competition next fall.

"Bringing back men's and women's basketball has been a dream of mine for many years," Director of Athletics (and the former women's basketball coach of 15 years) Brad Clifford said. "This is a special day for Yavapai College, the athletics department, and our communities. There is a lot of basketball history at YC (Yavapai College) and in Northern Arizona, and this is just the beginning of an exciting new era for us."

Previously, former Yavapai Head Coach Brooks Thompson took the men's basketball program to new heights, as the men's basketball program was rated among the top 10 national NJCAA basketball programs in the country. Thompson, who passed away in 2016 at the mere age of 45, went on to become an assistant coach at Arizona State University, before becoming the head coach for the University of Texas-San Antonio.

The men and women last played basketball at Yavapai during the 2010-11 season, with the men's program starting back in 1970-71 and the women's program starting in 1977-78. Overall, the men's all-time record is 674-458, while the women's all-time record is 713-282.

Coaching searches for both the men's and women's program have already began, and the new coaching hires will be formally announced on November 18 at Yavapai College's Basketball Celebration at Walraven Gymnasium to kick off the start of the reinstated programs. Alumni are invited and encouraged to attend. Timing and full event details are TBA. Stay tuned on GoRoughriders.com and all of Yavapai athletics' social media channels for more information.

The addition of Yavapai Junior College basketball back to the ACCAC will be tremendous in supporting athletics in Northern Arizona, which is filled with underrated boys and girls basketball talent, and will help to revitalize the communities in the area. It will also help the strengthen the ACCAC Basketball Conference a great deal and bring back more national respect to the conference over time, as Arizona basketball has been on the rise for some time, and will welcome the addition of another Division-I junior college to the Arizona basketball community.

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