Last season, the Yale men’s basketball team made it to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) championship game and finished with a 19–14 record overall — a vast improvement over the previous season’s 14–17 finish. With the program on the rise, it may come as a surprise that the Bulldogs would find themselves with a vacant coaching position.
But after five years at Yale, assistant coach Jamie Snyder-Fair has stepped down from the program citing various personal sacrifices and the opportunity to coach at the Division III level as reasons for his departure.
“He is a dedicated coach and we wish him all the best as he moves back to western Massachusetts,” said head coach James Jones.
Jones added that Snyder-Fair has aspirations to continue coaching.
With an open position on the Yale coaching staff, Jones moved quickly to get his ducks in a row before the Bulldogs return to campus in the fall.
“Justin Simon ’04, my former player and three-year assistant was moved up,” Jones said. “We have another coach ready to come on, but it’s not official.”
Simon has been with the Bulldogs coaching staff for three seasons and played for the Elis from 2000–2004. He accrued 243 points in his 82 appearances wearing the blue and white, and he played a prominent role as the Elis’ sixth man in his final two seasons. Additionally, Simon received the Eggie Mies Award as the team’s top free throw shooter as a junior.
Before rejoining Jones — his former coach — Simon served as an assistant coach and teacher at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, where he brought the program to the Catholic High School Athletic Association Class A final in two consecutive years.
Jones has previously said that Simon brought a valuable and exclusive perspective to the Bulldogs, having gone through the process of being a player under Jones himself and now mentoring players from the other side.
Snyder-Fair joined the Bulldogs in 2009 as a volunteer assistant coach and was promoted to a full-time assistant coach in 2011. Before joining Yale, he spent a season with the Divsion III Washington & Lee Generals, helping them make it back to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship game for the first time in 20 years.
Snyder-Fair also coached as an assistant with Vassar and Amherst Colleges prior to his stints at Washington & Lee and Yale.