|Brian Jones named head basketball coach|
Director of Athletics Tom Buning announced the hiring of Brian Jones as head coach of the Fighting Sioux men’s basketball team. Jones, who most recently served as director of basketball operations at the University of Iowa, is the 18th head coach in the history of the program and just the third in the last 36 years.
Jones, a Rock Island, Ill., native, comes to UND after spending the last seven seasons as an assistant on Steve Alford’s staff at Iowa. He spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach after serving as administrative assistant coach in his first two years with the Hawkeyes. During Jones’ five years as assistant coach, the Hawkeyes went 98-64 (.605), received three NCAA Tournament invitations and won a pair of Big Ten tournament titles. In 2005-06, Jones helped lead Iowa to a 25-9 record, the second-most wins in school history, and the first undefeated (17-0) home record since Carver-Hawkeye Arena opened in 1983.
Said Buning: “Brian Jones is absolutely the quality coach, teacher, leader and recruiter we need to carry on this great tradition of basketball excellence and service to the University. UND and its great fans and supporters should be complimented by the incredible number of quality applicants interested in being our next head coach. The wait is over! It’s time to lend your support to Brian and his lovely family, welcoming them to Grand Forks and showing your enthusiasm as he begins the process of building our next championship team.”
While at Iowa, Jones guided seven All-Big Ten selections, 17 Academic All-Big Ten selections and four Academic All-Americans. Jones also helped tutor four of the last five Big Ten rebounding champions, three straight conference leaders in blocked shots and the league’s 2005-06 defensive player of the year. Three of his student-athletes reached the National Basketball Association (NBA) and two from the 2005-06 Hawkeye team have been invited to NBA camps.
“I’m thrilled for this opportunity to work with the faculty, players and student body at the University of North Dakota,” said Jones. “I want to thank Mr. Buning, Betty Ralston and Coach Roebuck for giving me an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream. My family and I look forward to establishing deep roots in Grand Forks and the state of North Dakota. I’ve trained under the best in Coach Alford and he has prepared me to lead a program with great tradition in academics and athletics. It’s an honor to follow a class act like Coach Glas and I look forward to building upon his legacy.”
Prior to arriving at Iowa, Jones spent the 1998-99 season under Alford as administrative assistant coach at Missouri State University (now Southwest Missouri State), where he helped lead the Bears to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance and a top-20 national ranking.
No stranger to the North Central Conference, Jones was an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha from 1996 to 1998 and recruited many of the players who would go on to lead the Mavericks to back-to-back conference titles. Jones’ first coaching stint came at Alleman High School in Rock Island, Ill., where he was an assistant for two seasons.
Jones was a four-year letterman as a guard/forward at the University of Northern Iowa and went on to play professional basketball in Australia and Portugal. He was a two-time all-state selection as a prep at Rock Island High School.
Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in communications and broadcasting from Northern Iowa in 1994 and his master’s degree in athletic administration from Nebraska-Omaha.
Jones, who is 35, and his wife, Danna, have a 2-year old son, Jaxson, and a 1-year old daughter, Jersey.