RALEIGH, N.C. – After two seasons as the men’s lead assistant, Montel Jones is the new head women’s basketball coach at Saint Augustine’s University, the athletic department announced on Monday.
Jones takes over an up-and-coming Lady Falcons’ squad returning nine student-athletes including All-CIAA junior forward Kaaliya Williams (Richmond, Va.). Athletic Director George Williams believes Jones is the coach to turn the women’s program around.
“He has what it takes to succeed as a head coach,” Williams said about Jones. “His experience as an assistant will prepare him for his first head coaching position. I am confident he can get the job done.”
Jones has eight years of coaching experience including the past two seasons as an assistant under SAU head men’s basketball coach MarQus Johnson. His primary responsibilities were working with the post players in addition to being the team’s recruiting coordinator and academic mentor.
He helped develop standout forward Quincy January into a two-time CIAA Defensive Player of the Year winner. January, who ranked among the nation’s Division II rebounding and double-double leaders in points and rebounds, was a three-time All-CIAA selection and posted over 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds in his stellar four-year career.
“I first want to praise God,” Jones said. “This would not be possible without him. I would like to thank our president Dr. Everett B. Ward and Coach Williams for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to coaching an outstanding group of young women who will compete on the court and in the classroom.”
Jones also played a role in Tyrece Little earning CIAA Defensive Player of the Year honors during his two-year stint as men’s assistant coach at Virginia State University. He was part of a VSU staff which won the CIAA Championship and reached the NCAA Division II Tournament in 2016.
A Kinston, N.C., native, Jones was previously on the men’s basketball staffs at the University of Mount Olive and Wingate University before coaching at VSU and SAU. During his time at both schools, Mount Olive captured the Conference Carolinas regular-season title and Wingate won back-to-back South Atlantic Conference tournament crowns. Wingate also played in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.
Before entering the coaching profession, Jones was a basketball student-athlete at Mount Olive, where he graduated in 2008 with a criminal justice degree. During his college career, Mount Olive set a school record for men’s basketball victories (101) over a four-year span. As a freshman, Jones was a member of the 2005 Trojans’ squad which won the NCAA Division II East Regional and made its first-ever appearance in the Elite Eight.
In high school, Jones was a standout basketball player at famed Kinston High School in Kinston, N.C. Kinston High School has churned out numerous collegiate and professional basketball players over the years.
Courtesy: SAU Athletics