(WINDSOR, ON) – Stemming from the incident that cut short the NBLC finals last year, the Windsor Express were in need of a replacement head coach due to the suspension of Bill Jones. Today, the club announced that Tony Jones would be taking on the role for the next season.
“To be able to coach a team at the professional level, that’s won back-to-back championships, is an honour and a privilege,” Tony Jones said. “I’m not naive. I know I have some huge shoes to fill. But my goal is to put together an enthusiastic set of players with one aspiration. That’s to three-peat.”
Tony is the elder brother of Bill and joins the team after a wide search elicited a variety of responses. And before there are cries of nepotism, Tony’s resume is studded with a lengthy list of high level coaching experience.
At the end of May, Tony left the employment of Auburn University as the Tigers assistant coach under Bruce Pearl, after a year in Lee County, AL. Jones had gone to Auburn after serving as an associate coach for Pearl for six years and a full decade on staff. Before teaming up with the controversial Pearl, Jones also coached at Toldeo and Buffalo.
While with the Volunteers, Jones helped take the team to the NCAA Tournament six years running, making it twice to the Sweet 16 and to the Elite 8 once.
Still not convinced that Jones was the best candidate for the position?
“I got the final decision,” Express president and CEO Dartis Willis explained. “I was the guy who selected Tony. The thing that really attracted me is the extra passion that we can pick up because he was looking to see what he can do to better his brother’s legacy and name. So we picked up something special and you couldn’t get that with another coach.”
Training camp opens for the Express in December so there is a lot of time for Tony Jones to become acclimatized to Windsor and the team. That begins on Thursday evening when the new NBLC commissioner David Magley arrives in the city as a stop on his trip around the league. He will hold a question and answer with the media and fans at the WFCU Arena at 6:00 pm.