Last week, Utah Jazz president Randy Rigby suggested that the franchise could possibly interview over 20 potential candidates for the vacant head coach position. By all accounts, the Jazz will be thorough and comprehensive in their search. The great Jody Genessy shared some of Rigby’s insights last week. It sounds like the process will entail former players (including “iconic” ones–John Stockton, anyone?), previous NBA head and assistant coaches and those who have toiled in college and overseas.
Utah does not have look far for a candidate who has had some of these varied experiences. As is the case with Alex Jensen, Brad Jones is another familiar face who will most likely be considered.
Jones is a basketball lifer, much like his uncle: Jerry Sloan. He played for Lambuth University, where he was the team captain his senior campaign. After earning his master’s degree in health and public education, he returned to his alma mater to serve as head coach from 1995-2001. His teams were successful, winning a pair of conference championships. Jones twice earned the honors of Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year.
After leaving Lambuth, he started his tenure with the Utah Jazz, functioning as a regional scout from 2001-2007, after which he was tabbed to be the head coach for the short-lived Utah Flash in Orem, Utah. The D-League expansion team enjoyed success during his time; Jones posted an 84-66 record. The Flash made two trips to the postseason, including the 2009 Developmental League Finals. His teams were entertaining and energetic.
During his time in Orem, he was able to coach eight different players who were called up to the NBA 13 times. 12 different NBA players were assigned to have stints with Jones and the Flash, including Utah Jazz players Kyrylo Fesenko and Morris Almond.
Jones then joined Dennis Lindsey and company in the San Antonio Spurs system, coaching their D-League entry, the Austin Toros. As is the case with anything Spurs-related, the Toros were first-class, winning the championship under Jones’ helm in 2012.
After spending 2012-13 with the Jazz as a player development coach, he spent last season as an assistant coach for Tyrone Corbin, assuming the spot left open when Jeff Hornacek was giving the opportunity with the Phoenix Suns.
On a side note, his wife, Lori, is also an athlete and coach. Like her husband, she was inducted into the Lambuth Hall of Fame and currently is the head women’s basketball coach at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Jones seems to be liked by Utah’s players. His teams have been prepared and tough. And once again, he is a known commodity. While he has ties to Corbin and Sloan, Jones would undoubtedly add his own style and structure to the team, should he be named as the next coach of the Utah Jazz.