The University of Dayton announced the hiring of Donnie Jones, 52, as an assistant men’s basketball coach Thursday. He joins the staff of second-year Dayton Flyers head coach Anthony Grant. Jones and Grant first coached together in 1994 at Marshall under Billy Donovan.
“I’m excited to announce the addition of Donnie Jones to our staff,” Grant said in a press release. He brings a level of familiarity to our culture and to our style of play. He will fit extremely well on our staff and connect quickly with our players. He is a tremendous relationship guy. My relationship with Donnie spans over 20 years. We worked together for 12 years at Marshall and Florida.
“Our relationship runs deep, but it is who he is as a person and a coach that makes me happy he is now part of our Dayton basketball family. He has been a college coach for 29 years, nine of those as a head coach. He knows what it takes to be successful. He has a great knowledge of the game, will bring a veteran voice to our program, and has recruiting connections all over the country.”
With the addition of Jones, Grant has two former head coaches on his staff. Anthony Solomon coached four seasons (2003-07) at St. Bonaventure. Jones was the head coach at Marshall from 2007-10 and at Central Florida from 2010-16.
"I am humbled and honored to join Coach Anthony Grant and the Dayton Basketball family," Jones said in a press release. “To have the opportunity to come into a great basketball tradition and help grow a program like we have here at the University of Dayton is exciting. There are not many times in life that you get to go to work with your best friends. I’ve had a great relationship with Coach Grant for 24 years and we have shared success on some of college basketball biggest stages together. It’s great to be here at the University of Dayton with great people and great coaches.”
Jones and Grant coached with Donovan at Marshall until 1996 and then followed Donovan to the University of Florida. Both were on Donovan’s staff when the Gators won the national championship in 2006, and Jones remained on the staff when the Gators won the title again in 2007. Dayton has another assistant coach, Darren Hertz, who was also a part of those national championship teams.
In 2006, Florida was one of only three coaches in the country who had three coaches stay together on the same staff for the last 10 seasons.
At Dayton, Jones replaces James Kane, who left Dayton in June after one season for Iowa State.
Jones spent last season at Wichita State. The previous year, he worked as a scout for the Los Angeles Clippers.
From 2010-16, Jones was the head coach at Central Florida, compiling a record of 100-88 in six seasons. Central Florida fired Jones in March 2016 after a third-straight 18-loss season.