Tusculum College has named Michael Jones as its new men’s basketball coach announced Tusculum College Director of Athletics Frankie DeBusk. Coach Jones will be introduced to the College and Greeneville communities at a press conference Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Niswonger Student Commons on the Tusculum campus.
Jones comes to Tusculum after serving the last 12 years as head coach at South Atlantic Conference (SAC) member Brevard College. Jones replaces former Tusculum coach Jim Boone, who resigned last week after six seasons on the Tusculum sidelines to accept a similar position at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Jones led Brevard to a historic campaign in 2009-2010, as the Tornados finished the season 21-10, while capturing the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament title and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. Jones was named the SAC Coach of the Year as the team set or tied 27 individual and team records.
The Maysville, Ky. native has amassed 214 victories in his 14 years as a collegiate head coach, including 175 in his 12 seasons at Brevard. Jones has led his programs to three national tournaments, including two with the Tornados. Jones has also seen five of his players offered professional basketball contracts, including two in the NBDL.
“I am very excited to welcome Michael Jones to Tusculum College,” said DeBusk. “I am absolutely confident that he will lead our program to success, both on and off the basketball court, while positively representing our College, the South Atlantic Conference and NCAA Division II. Michael is a well-respected member of the coaching community, an accomplished recruiter and in a short time, has made a positive impact within our conference. There are exciting years ahead for Tusculum basketball.”
While at Brevard, Jones’ teams have accounted for 20 wins or more on four occasions. In 2001-02, his squad was ranked as high as No. 12 nationally (NAIA), while posting an impressive 22-11 worksheet. The Tornados captured both the Appalachian Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles that season, led by All-American and AAC Player of the Year David Evans.
But most impressive with his programs is the 98 percent graduation rate during Jones’ tenure.
He has mentored 10 All-Conference performers at Brevard, including this past season with Josh Roper, the 2011 SAC scoring champion. Roper, a 2011 First Team All-SAC selection and 2011 Daktronics All-South Atlantic Region Second Team selection, finished up his senior season at Brevard leading the league with 21.2 points per game and 2.56 steals per contest.
Also among the list of outstanding BC players coached by Jones is the program’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder in All-American Jonathan Whitson (2006-2010). Whitson is Brevard’s career leader in points (2,028), rebounds (942) and blocked shots (122).
“I am so happy and honored to work at such a great institution as Tusculum College and to have this opportunity,” Jones said. “Tusculum has a great academic and athletic history and I would like to thank (President) Dr. Nancy Moody and Coach DeBusk for affording me the opportunity to lead the Pioneers. I am excited about the support for our program and the resources we have to achieve our goals at the highest levels.”
Coach Jones came to Brevard from Jackson, Ky. where he was the head coach at Hazard Community College from 1997-1999. There he led the Division III junior college to a 21-9 record in his first year as head coach, while facing a Division I-laden schedule. In the 1998-99 season at Hazard, the team began with a preseason No. 8 national ranking.
Before his three-year stint at Hazard, Jones was on the coaching staff at his alma mater at Eastern Kentucky University, where was on the Colonels’ sidelines from 1994-1996. Jones earned his Bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1994 from Eastern Kentucky and followed that with his Master’s degree in physical education & sports administration in 1996 from EKU.
Coach Jones is married to the former Lori Mason and has a 10-year-old daughter, Rheanna and twin girls Lilly and Caris.