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Joseph Jones Named At Columbia
Created: 4/18/2003 9:04:08 PM

From Columbia Athletic Communications

Columbia University announced today the appointment of Joseph Jones as its head men's basketball coach. John Reeves, Director of Physical Education & Intercollegiate Athletics, selected Jones as the 20th head coach in the 103 years of Lions men's basketball.

Jones comes to Columbia after serving as an assistant at Villanova for the past six seasons. In 2002-03, he was responsible for recruiting, game scouting and on-court teaching. During Jones' tenure at Villanova under head coaches Steve Lappas and Jay Wright, the Wildcats advanced to postseason play in each of the past five seasons and compiled a 105-83 record.

Prior to arriving at Villanova in 1997, Jones worked with Wright at Hofstra from 1994 to 1997. In 1994-95, his efforts contributed to Hofstra's recruiting class that was ranked first in the America East Conference.  Despite leaving Hofstra in 1997, his recruiting efforts assisted in laying the groundwork for the Pride's rise in American East Conference prominence that culminated in a three-year run of 72-22 under then-Hofstra head coach Jay Wright.

"Joseph will bring a new level of intensity and excitement to Columbia Lions Men's Basketball," Reeves said. "His dynamic personality and attention to detail will captivate Columbia players, fans and alumni."

Known for his ability as a recruiter, the Ronkonkoma, N.Y., native helped form Villanova basketball throughout the past six years. In 1999, Eastern Basketball recognized Jones as one of the top recruiters in the nation. This past season's Wildcat recruiting class was ranked among the nation's best.

"Joseph's skill as a recruiter is his biggest asset," Reeves said. ?"He has demonstrated ability to recruit and knows the New York area. He has been a key cog in the success at both Villanova and Hofstra."

Jones got his start coaching on the prep level, serving as head coach at Long Island's Comsewogue High School from 1991 to 1994. The Long Island native was a four-year letterwinner at the State University College of New York at Oswego. He graduated in 1987 with a degree in communications and earned his master's degree in counseling in 1989. Jones graduated from Half Hollow Hills West High School in Dix Hills, Long Island, N.Y.

Jones, 37, and his wife, Kristin Justvig, are parents of a daughter, Sydney, born in April 2002. Jones' brother, James, just completed his fourth season as the head men's basketball coach at Yale.

The only time previously in League history that two brothers were simultaneously serving as head basketball coaches in the Ivy League was from 1924 to 1928. Basketball Hall of Famer Ed Wachter was the coach at Harvard while his brother Leonard was at Dartmouth back in the days of the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League, the forerunner of the Ivy League.

The Jones' brothers become one of three active brother duos coaching at the Division I level. Dickey and Dennis Nutt are the head coaches at Arkansas State and Southwest Texas State while Bill and Tom Herrion coach at East Carolina and the College of Charleston.

Preliminary research indicates that two brothers coaching within the same conference is extremely rare. The most notable tandem was Clarence and Hank Iba, who each coached in the Missouri Valley Conference from 1949 to 1957. Clarence was in charge at Tulsa and Hank at Oklahoma State.

Jones succeeds Armond Hill, who compiled a career mark of 72-141 (33-79 Ivy League) in his eight-year tenure at Columbia.

Related Schools: Columbia
Related Sports: Basketball
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