Claim Jumper Basketball Program History
A Winning Tradition
Columbia College was founded in 1968, and Pete Sullivan established a basketball program in 1976. Coach Sullivan started from scratch and developed Columbia to be a power program in Northern California, going 24-9 during his final season in 1979-80. Pat Douglas continued Pete Sullivan’s success going 22-8 for his lone season at the helm of the Jumpers in 1980-81. The next four years belonged to Bob Thomason; the Claim Jumpers held a combined record of 75-49 including the program's first Central Valley Conference (CVC) Championship in 1983-84. In 1985, Denny Aye was named the head coach at Columbia and from 1985-94 the Claim Jumpers dominated the CVC and were consistent Final Eight contenders with a State Title in 1993. Jim Saia took over the reins in 1995 and continued the success by adding 61 wins and two conference championships in just two years. In the summer of 1996, Coach Saia was named an assistant at UCLA. Glen Hefferman was named his replacement and ran the program for one year leading the Jumpers to a 22-10 record in 1996-1997. Andy Vasher (1997-2003) and Nate Rien (2003- 2013) continued guiding the basketball program. They helped many student athletes graduate and continue their academic and athletic goals. Rob Hoyt was named as the ninth head coach in the summer of 2013 and actively holds the position. Hoyt quickly took the Claim Jumpers back to the top of the California basketball ranks during his tenure, amassing a record of 131-60 including three CVC Championships.