Wichita State hires Donnie Jones as men’s assistant coach

(KSN graphic)

WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State has hired veteran Donnie Jones to fill its men’s basketball assistant coaching vacancy, head coach Gregg Marshall announced Wednesday.

Jones, 50, worked as a college scout for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers during the 2016-17 season. Prior to that, he spent nine years as a Division I head coach, first at Marshall University (2007-10) and most recently at the University of Central Florida (2010-16).

Jones launched his coaching career with 19 years as an assistant, including 13 under current Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. The pair led Florida to consecutive national championships in 2006 and 2007, along with a national runner-up finish in 2000.

Marshall said: “I’ve known Donnie for over 20 years. He’s not only one of the great coaches, but one of the great people in our business. We have talked about potentially working together for many years. He will bring his wonderful family to Wichita and will quickly become a strong, active member of our community. From his nine years of head coaching experience at the Division I level to his back-to-back national championships that he was a part of as an assistant coach, we are getting a very qualified, professional college basketball coach.”

“I look forward to joining the Shocker family,” Jones said, “and to continuing the winning tradition that Coach Marshall and his staff have built there.”

Jones has had a hand in the recruitment and development of 13 NBA Draft picks, most recently seven-footer, Hassan Whiteside, who led the NCAA in blocks during his lone season at Marshall. Currently a member of the Miami Heat, Whiteside was the NBA’s 2016 blocks leader and captured the league’s rebounding crown in 2017.

In addition, Jones signed Tacko Fall – the American Athletic Conference’s 2017 Defensive Player of the Year – as part of his final UCF recruiting class.

Jones also excelled on the recruiting trail as an assistant. During his 11 years at Florida (1996-2007), the program signed 11 McDonald’s High School All-America selections and boasted top-five national recruiting classes on five occasions. Following Florida’s second national title in 2007, five of Jones’ pupils — Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Chris Richard – were selected in the draft.

The Point Pleasant, W.Va. native is married to the former Michelle Gibson. The couple has three children: Madisyn Michelle, Sophie Louise and Donald Isaac.