ODU inks head men’s hoops coach Jeff Jones to two-year contract extension

Head coach Jeff Jones of the Old Dominion Monarchs. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

NORFOLK, Va. (Harry Minium, ODUSports.com) – Old Dominion athletic director Wood Selig announced Tuesday night that the University has extended the contract of men’s basketball coach Jeff Jones for two more seasons.

The new extension will keep Jones under contract for 5 more years, through the 2023-2024 season, and Jones says it’s his plan to be here five more years.

Selig made the announcement at the Blue Blue Barbecue, an annual event that allows ODU’s coaches and players to connect with fans shortly after the season ends, and during which the coaching staff hands out awards.

The announcement was greeted with sustained applause.

Jones is 122-49 over the last five years, which ranks 19th among the nation’s 353 Division I schools.

ODU head men’s basketball coach Jeff Jones

ODU finished 26-8 this season, won its first Conference USA title and went to the NCAA tournament for the first time in eight seasons. Jones was Conference USA Coach of the Year, senior B.J. Stith was named Player of the Year and ODU led the league in attendance with an average of 6,620 per game.

Selig says Jones record earned him the extension.

“During the last five seasons, ODU men’s basketball has excelled nationally,” Selig said. “ODU has been been dominant in C-USA the last five years posting the best overall league record of 65-25.

“It has been a remarkable five year run and we look forward to continued success in the future with Coach Jones’ steady influence at the helm.

“The continuity that Coach Jones will provide ODU during these next five years in what has become a very unstable world in intercollegiate basketball is a true asset to our student-athletes, our University, and of all of those who support Monarch basketball.”

ODU head men’s basketball coach Jeff Jones

Jones thanked both ODU President John R. Broderick and Selig for their vote of confidence.

“I’m very appreciative of President Broderick’s support of the program and in this case, his support of me,” Jones said. “He is a President who is very in tune with every area of the University. His contributions to ODU have been significant in our success.

“I can’t image having a better and more supportive boss than Wood Selig. Between the two of them I’m very lucky.”

ODU’s basketball program has also excelled in athletics. In 2016-2017, the last year for which NCAA APR rankings are available, the Monarchs had a composite score of 995. A perfect score is 1,000. ODU’s  basketball program ranked in the top percent nationally.

Jones has stressed to his players that academics are just as important as wins and losses.

“That is a priority for us, not just for men’s basketball, but for the entire athletic department,” he said. “The allocation of resources to academic support is as good as you expect to find anywhere.”

Jeff Jones, ODU basketball

Jones is now focused on off-season workouts and recruiting. No. 1 on his recruiting list is replacing point guard Ahmad Caver.

ODU played with poise in close games that tested the nerves of ODU fans. The Monarchs defeated Louisiana Tech, UAB and Western Kentucky in the Conference USA tournament in which ODU rallied from late deficits. Two of the games were won on shots made in the final seconds.

ODU also upset No. 25 Syracuse on the road and rallied from a 21-0 deficit to defeat Western Kentucky and from 17 points down to beat in-state rival VCU. ODU was unbeaten against

“It was a great year,” Jones said. “There’s some luck involved. The ball has to bounce your way. But your players have to be good to win those kinds of games.

“I’m optimistic about our team next season. We have a lot of good players returning.

“I think we’d all like to go dancing again.”

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