Former Marshall head coach and Florida assistant Donnie Jones is now welcomed back in Florida after taking over the head coaching spot at UCF.
Jones who was hired on Monday, is planned to be officially introduced as the head coach on Tuesday at a news conference.
The USA Today gathered a quote from UCF athletic director Keith Tribble earlier today.
“Donnie Jones is an excellent coach, a phenomenal recruiter and a great person,” UCF athletic director Keith Tribble said in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome Donnie and his family to Orlando and the UCF Athletics community. Donnie has a vision for this program that includes attracting top-notch student-athletes and competing for championships. He is the right coach to lead UCF men’s basketball to the next level.”
Jones has spent three years over at Marshall and finished with a 55-41 overall record, including a 21-10 record this past season.
Jones served as the Marshall assistant way before he started at Florida in 1996. Then after the Gators won their back to back titles in 2007, he decided he wanted to take over the head coaching job at Marshall. He will be replacing Kirk Speraw, who spent 17 years of coaching at UCF. The Knights didn’t have such a great season this year, but with a coach like Donnie I believe he will be able to turn things around, especially with all the recruiting tools he has.
Not only is he a great coach, but also a great guy. I still remember when I was a little kid and my dad took me to the coaches clinics at Florida and coach Jones was there helping out and doing all of the announcing at the practices. He would pass me the ball in the O’Connell Center so I could shoot while the coaches were in their meetings, and then gave me a piece of gum after. I thought it was pretty neat at the time.
Even though Jones is not coming back to the University of Florida, I am excited to see that he has returned to the Sunshine state and is only a couple hours down the road. I think if Donovan ever thinks about leaving, Jones may be on that list to replace him, but don’t count on that happening anytime soon.