On Thursday afternoon, Northwest Nazarene University Director of Athletics Paul Rush announced Jon Hawkins as NNU’s next Head Men’s Basketball Coach.
Hawkins, who had been serving as the interim head coach following Rush’s move to the athletic director position in July, is set to be the 19th head coach in NNU men’s basketball’s 90-year history.
“We feel incredibly blessed to have Jon Hawkins stepping in as the next leader of NNU Men’s Basketball,” said Rush. “He has proven his ability to lead the program in taking the next steps towards winning a National Championship, but more importantly he is the right person to be pouring into the lives of the young men that are a part of this program.
“As our teams have won more and more athletic and academic championships at the NCAA Division II level, we have been able to attract exceptional candidates and this national search was no different. However, Jon clearly separated himself and we are thankful to have an alum as a rising superstar in the men’s basketball coaching world.”
Hawkins has been with the NNU men’s basketball program for a total of 10 years, including as a student-athlete for two seasons, assistant coach for six, and associate head coach for the past two years. During his eight seasons as a coach dating back to the 2015-16 season, the Nighthawks have compiled an overall record of 108-93, including a 75-48 mark over the last five seasons. The Nighthawks have been especially tough at home, going 50-19 (.725) in games played at the Johnson Sports Center.
During his time as an assistant and associate head coach, the Nighthawks have qualified for the NCAA Tournament twice (with a Sweet 16 appearance in 2020-21), won the GNAC Championship last year, and have a current streak of qualifying for the GNAC Tournament four seasons in a row. In 2020, Hawkins was named to the Silver Wave’s Media 50 Impactful NCAA DII Assistant Coach list.
Hawkins has helped coach three All-Region players, the 2019 GNAC Player & Newcomer of the Year in Adonis Arms, and the 2022 GNAC Freshman of the Year in Tru Allen. In addition to those two GNAC special honors, 17 total Nighthawks have received All-GNAC recognition during Hawkins’ tenure.
“I am honored to become the next Head Men’s Basketball Coach of a program that has helped shape the man, father and coach I am today,” said Hawkins. “My family and I care so deeply about this community and institution. Being able to step into this role is a blessing from The Lord, and I can’t thank President Pearsall and Paul Rush for entrusting me with the responsibility of coaching and mentoring these young men.
“I intend to bring excellence and consistency to every area of the program from winning, to transforming players’ lives, to building a culture founded on the principle of love. I have had the privilege of assisting Paul in establishing a standard of success for NNU Men’s Basketball, and I intend to build upon the same for years to come.”
During two seasons as a student-athlete at NNU, Hawkins averaged 11.2 points per game, dished out 182 assists and led all NCAA Division II players with a 94.1 free-throw shooting percentage in the 2012-13 season.
Before rejoining the NNU family in 2015, Hawkins played in the Gold Coast’s Intensity Super League, one of the top summer leagues in Australia. He then toured with Athletes in Action to Israel after playing half a season in the top league in Latvia for Jurmalas-Fenikss.
Hawkins and his wife, Savanah, live in Nampa with their two sons, Callahan and Boden, and have a third child on the way.
Hawkins will immediately begin a national search to find a new first assistant coach and fill out the NNU men’s basketball staff.