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NSMA Honors Jones

James Jones
James Jones

Named 2015-16 Gaines Award Winner

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The National Sports Media Association has named James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs, as its 2015-16 Big House Gaines Men's College Basketball Coach of the Year.

Virginia Union coach AnnMarie Gilbert was selected as the women's coach of the year. The Gaines Awards will be presented at the NSMA's Awards Banquet in June.

"We are pleased to recognize Coach Jones and Coach Gilbert for the outstanding jobs they did this season," NSMA executive director Dave Goren said. "Both of their teams had historic seasons and truly deserve this award."

Jones' 17th season at Yale was the school's best since 1906-07. The Bulldogs finished 23-7, won the Ivy League title for the second straight season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after an upset win over Baylor in the opening round.

This is the latest in a long list of awards for Jones, who was named the Ivy League and NABC District 13 Coach of the Year for the second straight year, was selected as the United States Basketball Writer's Association District 1 Coach of the Year, was presented with the Advocates For Athletic Equity Division I Coach of the Year Award and was's Hugh Durham Award winner.

The Gaines Awards are named for Winston-Salem State University head men's basketball coach Clarence 'Big House' Gaines. During 47 seasons as WSSU's head coach, Gaines's teams won 828 games, including the 1967 NCAA Division II national championship.

Among the players Gaines coached were basketball Hall of Famer Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe, Cleo Hill (first player from a historically black college to be drafted in the first round by an NBA team), and television personality Stephen A. Smith.  A former President of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Gaines was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.  He died in 2005. 

The NSMA will hold its 57th Awards Weekend, June 18-20, 2016, in Salisbury, N.C. Chris Berman, Billy Packer, Gary Smith the late David Halberstam will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. National Sportscaster of the Year Mike 'Doc' Emrick and, National Sportswriter of the Year Tom Verducci will be honored, along with 104 State Sportscasters and Sportswriters from throughout the country. Registration and ticket information can be found at

Report filed by Tim Bennett (, Yale Sports Publicity