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Jones Named Finalist For Ben Jobe Award

James Jones. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
James Jones. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Guided Bulldogs To Second Place Ivy League Finish

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale head coach James Jones, who guided the Bulldogs to their best Ivy League finish since 2006-07 and a postseason berth for the second time in the last three years, is one of 15 finalists for the 2014 Ben Jobe Award, which is presented annually to the top minority coach in Division I men's basketball.

Jones, who is in his 15th season as Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball, became the school's all-time winningest men's basketball coach when the Bulldogs beat Holy Cross in the second round of the Tournament (CIT). He has led the Bulldogs to 208 wins, the third most of any coach in Ivy League history. In addition, Jones' 117 league victories are the fourth most all-time, and his .563 winning percentage is the highest of any Yale coach.

This season, the Bulldogs currently have 18 overall victories and will finish with a winning overall record for the third time in the last four years. Yale is in the semifinals of the CIT and plays at VMI on Tuesday night. In league play, the Bulldogs won nine games, including handing Harvard its only league loss, and finished fourth or better for the 14th straight year.

One of the other finalists for the award is James' younger brother Joe, the head coach of Boston University. The rest of the finalists are Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Roman Banks (Southern), Johnny Dawkins (Stanford), Ron Hunter (Georgia State), Mike Jones (Radford), Danny Manning (Tulsa), Cuonzo Martin (Tennessee), Rob Murphy (Eastern Michigan), LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central), Kevin Ollie (Connecticut), Monte Ross (Delaware), Gary Waters (Cleveland State), Willis Wilson (Texas A&M Corpus Christi).

"Any of the finalists would make a great recipient of the Ben Jobe Award," said's Angela Lento. "This award recognizes class and coaching excellence, which all of the finalists embody."

Coach Jobe is an icon in the history of basketball at historically black colleges and universities. He is best known as the head coach of the Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons. He has also head coach at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State.

His record at Southern was 209-141 and included four NCAA Tournament appearances. He also coached the Jaguars to one NIT appearance, five SIAC championships, 11 SWAC titles and two NAIA Tournament Championships.

Perhaps his most memorable moment as a coach was Southern's 93-78 win over Georgia Tech in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament. It stands as one of the great upsets in the history of the event.

The winner of the 2014 Jobe award will be announced at the Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity