Matt Jones, who served as a graduate assistant at Spring Hill College in Alabama for the past two years, has been hired as an assistant coach on the Miami Dade College men’s basketball team.
Jones, 26, replaces Kevin Ledoux, who was promoted to head coach after Stephen Cowherd took an assistant coaching position at the University of Louisiana-Monroe this past summer.
His duties will include working with student athletes on their fundamentals during practice, recruiting and managing players off-court activities.
Jones is already making an impact. Sophomore guard Victor Sanchez said the energetic assistant leaves an imprint during each practice by pinpointing minor details other coaches don’t notice.
“He is very vocal when it comes to the simple things,” Sanchez said. “He knows a lot about the game so he brings a certain knowledge.”
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Jones said athletics have always played a vital role in his life.
“I come from an athletic family, and it was basketball that ended up being my sport,” Jones said.
After graduating from Bryan High School in Ohio, Jones continued playing at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan for the last two years of his athletic career.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in social science from Lourdes University in Ohio where he concentrated on academics and did not play basketball. While earning his master’s degree in liberal arts from Spring Hill College, an NCAA Division II school in Mobile, Ala., he served for two years as a graduate assistant on the Spring Hill staff.
“I want to help kids be the best they can be academically and athletically,” Jones said. “Why would I get a real job, when I could just be involved with basketball for the rest of my life.”
Once Jones graduated from Spring Hill, he knew MDC needed to be his destination. He was intrigued by the opportunity to work under a new head coach at MDC who was installing a new system.
“He was very persistent and continuously emailed me about him being right for the job,” Ledoux said. “Several coaches recommended him.”
Ledoux said Jones’ enthusiasm and inquisitive nature have been a good fit for the Sharks.
“Our relationship is wonderful. He is eager, full of questions and helps the team out a lot,” Ledoux said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better hire.”