June 27, 2011
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J. Jones named men's basketball head coach | What they're saying about Coach Jones
ESPNBoston.com - Jones to build on BU Success (article with radio interview)
Boston Herald - For Jones, BU job close to home
Associated Press - Jones officially takes over at Boston U.
Boston University Men's Basketball Coach Joe Jones
Introductory Press Conference
Francis D. Burke Club Room, Agganis Arena
June 27, 2011
Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Mike Lynch:
Good morning everybody, I hope everyone here is as excited as I am to be here. I think probably Joe is, that’s my guess. We have a number of people here who I want to thank for coming. First and foremost, the many members of our men’s basketball team, and I see a lot of members of the women’s basketball staff and a lot of people from the athletic department, as well as from the rest of the community, I want to thank you all for coming.
It’s a really exciting time to be a part of our program. Brian Maurer (BU basketball radio announcer) had mentioned back-to-back 21 win seasons, a couple of opportunities during the post season, last year advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament and putting on a fantastic showing against Kansas on national television. I’d have to imagine that whoever stepped into this seat, knowing the team we have back has got to be really excited, I know that everybody that’s here today, I know that everybody watching outside, and on GoTerriers.com has to be excited about the future of Terrier basketball, and I am one of those people. I am just really, really enthusiastic about this hire, I think Joe’s going to do a fantastic job for BU basketball. We certainly want to welcome him and his family here to our program.
I’ve got a few people to thank who have been integral parts of the search process from the very beginning, three long weeks ago until today, and that starts at the top here at BU with our President Doctor Robert Brown. Dr. Brown has been an unbelievable supporter of our program. He has a huge vision for Boston University, and basketball is a part of that vision. He really believes that men’s basketball and women’s basketball are differentiators for our University and our program. He was intimately involved from the very start of this process, so I’d like to thank him for his leadership and his guidance. I certainly want to thank our Executive Vice President Joe Mercurio. I’ve worked with Joe from the minute that I got here, since I became Athletic Director in 2004, and I’m going to miss Joe probably more than anybody. Joe’s going to be retiring from Boston University at the end of the summer. Certainly his council and wisdom and his knowledge about the university helped us throughout the entire process.
I want to thank Drew Marrochello. Drew is our Deputy Director of Athletics. Drew has been with me every step of the way of this. He is methodical, meticulous, and somebody who really helped me put together a lot of good thoughts about who the best guy would be to run this program. So I really want to thank Drew. Finally I do want to say thank you to Patrick Chambers. Patrick is a good friend of mine, Patrick is a good man, and Patrick is somebody who came here and helped get this program back on track and took us to two consecutive 21 win seasons. I wish Patrick nothing but the best as he goes forward with his career and his next move.
I want to tell you a little bit about our search process, because it was methodical, it was detailed and it was thorough. Over the last three weeks, we had an opportunity to speak with roughly 50 coaches who could have taken this program over. We talked directly to 12 of them, we interviewed seven, and we eventually offered the job last Thursday to the gentleman who I feel, and many of us here at Boston University feel, is best equipped to build on the success that we’ve had and to take this program to even greater heights.
You might ask what separates Joe from the rest of those folks, but I’ll tell you just about everything because I believe that Joe is the entire package. I think that Joe brings a number of things to the head coaching role that are going to be extremely important for us to continue to move forward. First of all, Joe began his professional career as a counselor, which I think is going to really bode well as he helps our young people to do the best that they can, not only on the court, but also in the community and in the classroom. Joe, he has a very diverse coaching background. He was the head high school coach, he was an assistant at both at the mid major and the high major levels, he’s been a head coach in the Ivy Leagues, and most recently, he’s been the associate head coach in the ACC, which is pretty good basketball. He’s been noted as one of the country’s best recruiters, and he’s learned under some of the best coaches you’ll find, including Jay Wright, and most recently Steve Donahue at Boston College, formerly of Cornell. They are two men who I have the absolute, utmost respect for. Joe also understands Boston University, and he shares our definition of success as excellence not only on the court, but in the classroom and in the community. Most of all, Joe fits.
We have a lot of outstanding coaches and a lot of really talented teams. We’ve got teams that have won national championships here. We’ve got coaches that are on the verge of national championships, such as our women’s ice hockey program. We have many teams that have done unbelievable things here, and many coaches have been a part of that, most recently our women’s soccer team running the second longest shutout streak in the history of the NCAA. This guy’s going to fit with this group. He knows what we’re all about. He understands and cares about student athletes and their development as people who are going to turn into leaders and go out into society and make a difference.
I talked to many people in college sports, inside basketball and out, and I couldn’t find one thing I didn’t like about Joe Jones. Everything that I learned about Joe was positive. Everybody I talked to was enthusiastic about Joe. They practically came through the phone at us about what a great guy he would be to bring to Boston University. That’s exactly the type of person I want to bring to this program, somebody who is enthusiastic, somebody who is caring, somebody who is knowledgeable, obviously, and somebody who is going to take us to the next place. At the end of our search, it became really clear last week that Joe Jones was our guy and I am really proud and honored to welcome his wife Kristin, his children - Sydney and JJ- to the BU family, and I am certainly honored to welcome Joe Jones up to the podium as the next head coach at Boston University. Thank you.
Men's Basketball Head Coach Joe Jones:
I was just joking with Mike [Lynch] that I was never good enough of a player to get my jersey at a podium like that, so that was the first time I was able to do that. I would like to start off by first thanking my lovely wife Kristin, my son, JJ, and my daughter Sydney, who is not here. Yesterday we went head-to-head in bowling. The deal was if I won, she had to come to the press conference, and if she won, she would go to soccer camp. So you can see what happened. But she had those borders, and I’m a much better basketball coach than I am a bowler.
I’d like to start by thanking Dr. Robert Brown, Mike Lynch, Drew Marrochello and Joe Mercurio for all their support and help throughout the process. I really enjoyed spending time with these gentlemen and I’m looking forward to working with them. I would also like to thank Pat Chambers, a dear friend, who I think did a tremendous job, and we’re looking to build on the excitement that Pat brought to this program.
Back in about 1994 or 1995, I was a young assistant at Hofstra University. I had a little more hair then, a little flat-top fade. We would come here and play against the great teams at Boston University. Joey Beard and Tunji Awojobi. They were tough and they played hard. As a staff, we had a chance to experience Boston University and Boston. We just fell in love with it as a staff. Our staff consisted of Jay Wright as the head coach and Tom Pecora, who is now the head coach at Fordham. We talked about what a great job this was, just a tremendous academic institution. A place where you can recruit high level student-athletes and that’s what the BU program is all about. So I am really excited and honored to be the 25th head coach here at Boston University.
Our style of play will be exciting. It will be up-tempo. We will play fast and we will play hard, and we will play unselfishly. We are looking to being on the floor and working with these young men. I spent last Thursday getting to know these guys. We had a team meeting and we had some individual meetings afterward. I have got to tell you, I had an unbelievable day getting to know these guys. Great character. They have a tremendous family atmosphere around this program. It’s going to be a lot of fun getting to know them and working with them. Everyone in the community has been tremendous. I’ve had a chance to meet a lot of people here at Boston University, and I’ve been welcomed with open arms. I had my first lunch at T Anthony’s, and that was great. I’m looking forward to building excitement both on campus and in the community and getting up and down Comm. Ave, for the Boston University program.
In closing, my family and I are really honored to be here. This is going to be a wonderful experience for us, and we’re looking forward to getting to know all of you. Thank you.
Questions from the media for Coach Jones:
On his biggest challenge
That’s a good question. Any time you have a change, I think the thing you have to do is get really familiar with each other. I think they had unbelievable success here and we’re trying to build on that success. It will just be about getting to know each other, being more familiar. Obviously, I’m going to bring a different style of play than what they played last year. There will be some things that are similar, but just really getting a comfort level with the staff and with our style of play. That will probably be the biggest adjustment and the biggest challenge that we have.
On returning a talented team, but with players who have had many different coaches
I want to comment on that first. I saw that and my heart just poured out for them because I was fortunate enough to have one coach and it was just a wonderful experience. For some of these guys to have three or four coaches in their careers, that is really tough. I think the big thing is to start the relationship the right way. Express to them that this is their team. I’m here to help them to get to where they want to go as a team. Obviously they are very talented. They have a great family atmosphere. We’re just going to feed off that, but, this is their team. I’m their coach, but this is really their team. Just have an open, honest relationship to start with and we’ll go from there.
On the new players coming in and how he will retain them along with the underclassmen
“We have definitely reached out. I think the guys have been through a lot in the last three weeks. We’ve had some great talks with the current and incoming players and I’m very hopeful that we will keep everyone intact and have the same roster that Pat [Chambers] left.
On getting fans in the seats
At two of the places I’ve been, Hofstra and Columbia, we had to build that fan base from day one. You really have to go and connect with the students first. They have to know who you are. We have to get our student-athletes in front of them. They need to feel like you are a part of the community. At Columbia, for instance, we were involved in the AIDS walk, and we were involved in one the cancer research events that was going on campus. We did the 24-hour dance, and I got up there and did a little dance, and so we were very much involved in things on campus. We’re going to get out and get involved on campus and do whatever we can to bring people into arena. Then we have to get out in the community as well. People have to feel like you want to be a part of the community. You can’t just got and ask them to come to the games without really giving up of yourself. That’s important and that’s what we’re going to do.