By Greg Halbleib
NORMAL – The head coach at the University of North Dakota is joining the men’s basketball staff at Illinois State.
Brian Jones will be the associate head coach under Redbird boss Dan Muller. Jones led the UND program for 13 years including an NCAA tournament appearance in 2017. He was Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year that season.
“This is a chance to work with a good friend of mine in Dan Muller, who is someone I have tremendous respect for,” Jones said in a release. “I think it is a privilege that I can come down and to not only serve a group of young men, but also work with Dan as he continues his program at a strong MVC level.”
Before taking over at North Dakota, Jones spent seven seasons at Iowa under Steve Alford, including five seasons as an assistant coach. Jones was a four-year letterwinner at Northern Iowa and played professionally in Australia and Portugal. Jones was an assistant coach at Alleman High School in his hometown of Rock Island and at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
“I grew up in Illinois, and this is a chance for me to be closer to family and friends,” Jones said. “From a personal side we are extremely excited but are equally excited from a professional standpoint. The Valley is a conference that I hold true to my heart having played and coached in it. I am very excited that (Muller) thought of me and thought highly enough of me to take on this opportunity.”
Greg Halbleib can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.