Old Dominion hires Maryland's Mike Jones as basketball coach

Old Dominion has hired Maryland assistant Mike Jones as its next head coach, the school announced on Friday.

Jones is an Old Dominion alum who led the Monarchs to the NCAA tournament as a player in 1992 and 1995. This is his first season on Kevin Willard's staff at Maryland after he spent the previous two seasons as the associate head coach under Mike Young at Virginia Tech.

"I could not be more excited. This is an opportunity of a lifetime," Jones said. "ODU is home to me and we are ready to work to build the program back into something that Norfolk and the entire Hampton Roads community will be proud of."

Before making the move to college, Jones established himself as one of the elite high school coaches in the country. He was the coach at DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland for 19 years, leading the Stags to a 511-19 record and nine Washington Catholic Athletic Conference regular-season titles.

Jones has ample experience with USA Basketball, including as coach of the 2019 under-16 national team that won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Brazil.

"It was imperative that our new head coach check all the essential boxes including ability to recruit both high school and transfer student-athletes, player development, coaching acumen, style of play, community engagement, impeccable character and a proven history of success. Mike Jones checks all those boxes," athletic director Wood Selig said at a press conference announcing the hire. "In Mike Jones, ODU has a leader who has seen success at the highest level and knows what it takes to sustain competitive excellence. The fact that he is one of us is icing on the cake."

Jones replaces Jeff Jones, who announced his retirement Monday after a 32-year head-coaching career. He had been at Old Dominion since 2013, leading the Monarchs to the NCAA tournament in 2019 after winning the Conference USA regular-season and conference tournament championships. Jones also spent 13 seasons as the head coach of the American University Eagles and led Virginia to five NCAA tournament appearances in the 1990s.

Jeff Jones took a leave of absence in January after he suffered a heart attack in December and then began treatment for prostate cancer for the fourth time.

Old Dominion (7-23, 3-14 Sun Belt), which has been led by interim coach Kieran Donohue since Jones stepped away from the team, wraps up its regular season at Georgia Southern on Friday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.