(Updated July 2014)
Stan Jones, who has been considered one of the top basketball coaches in the country throughout his career, is in his 13th season as the Associate Head Coach at Florida State. His virtues as a coach are praised by respected members of the coaching community who see him as one of the best recruiters and top in game coaches in all of college basketball. Jones has worked tirelessly to help build the Seminoles into a consistent winner – into a program that is the third winningest program in the ACC in the last nine seasons.
Jones has helped the Seminoles compile an impressive list of accomplishments including the 2012 ACC Championship, a school-record four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2009-12), nine consecutive postseason appearances, two appearances in the ACC Championship game (2009 and 2012), 29 victories over nationally ranked teams, three wins over the nation’s No. 1 ranked team and 10 players selected in the NBA Draft.
Jones, though, is not often satisfied and his desire to accomplish more is the incredible force that drives him every single day. His drive and determination as both a recruiter and a coach are two of the main reasons why Florida State is the third-winningest program in the ACC in the last nine seasons.
Jones has coached in four of the last six NCAA Tournaments and helped the Seminoles to the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He helped guide Florida State to the first ACC Championship in school history in 2012 and to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2009-12. The Seminoles have won more ACC games in 12 years with Jones on the sideline (98) than they did in their first 11 years in the ACC (70) and he has helped the program increase its winning percentage in conference games by more than 10 percent.
With Jones on the staff, the Seminoles average nearly 20 wins per season and are the winningest coaching staff for average wins per season in school history. Florida State has been ranked in the final national top 20 in three of the last five seasons and began the 2012-13 season ranked in both national polls for the first time in school history.
Working in concert with head coach Leonard Hamilton for 18 of the last 19 seasons, Jones has systematically helped assemble then expertly coached winning basketball players and teams to heights never before seen in the programs he has worked to build. He helped coach Miami to a regular season championship in the Big East in 2000 only six years after the Hurricanes went winless in Big East play. He helped coach Mississippi State to the SEC Tournament Championship in 2002 – a title that marked only the second tournament championship in school history. Most recently, Jones helped Florida State win the ACC Tournament in 2012. Florida State’s ACC Championship is the most significant championship in Jones’ career considering the Seminoles defeated two of the top four all-time winningest programs (Duke and North Carolina) in the semifinals and championship games of the event.
Jones has helped the Seminoles build a solid program by doing what he does as well as any coach in the country: recruit outstanding talent and develop those signees into NBA level players. A total of 10 Seminoles have become NBA Draft choices during his tenure at Florida State.
His coaching philosophies have helped Florida State become one of the nation's top defensive teams and his ability to teach the game of basketball has transformed the Seminoles in to one of the most fundamentally sound teams in the nation.
FLORIDA STATE IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Jones has helped Florida State advance to four of the last six NCAA Tournaments including coaching the Seminoles to an appearance in the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles played in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments (2009-12) after playing in the NCAA Tournament only four times in the 13 years prior to Jones’ arrival in Tallahassee as the Seminoles’ associate head coach for the 2002-03 season. After winning 12 ACC regular season games and winning the 2012 ACC Championship, the Seminoles tied the school record by earning a No. 3 seed in the East Region in the NCAA Tournament. It had been 19 years since the Seminoles had earned a seed higher than No. 5 in the NCAA Tournament. Florida State was a No. 5 seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
Florida State won its first ever ACC Championship in 2012 as it swept through the ACC Tournament with wins over Miami in the quarterfinals, No. 2 seeded and No. 6 ranked Duke in the semifinals and No. 1 seeded and No. 4 ranked North Carolina in the Championship game. The Seminoles finished the 2012 season with a 25-10 overall record and a school record tying 12-4 mark in ACC play. Florida State earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the ACC Champion and played in its school record fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament where it advanced to the third round for the second consecutive season. The Seminoles defeated an ACC-high six ranked teams including both Duke and North Carolina twice and defeated each of the four Tobacco Road teams in the ACC (Duke, North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest) in the same season for the first time since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season.
FLORIDA STATE AND THE NATIONAL POLLS
On the strength of its first ACC Tournament championship and second 25-win season in four years, Florida State was ranked in the top 15 of both major national polls to end the 2012 season - No. 10 by the Associated Press and No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. It marked the first time since the 1992-93 season - and only the second time in school history - that the Seminoles were ranked in the top 15 in the final polls from both ranking services. The Seminoles were 15-6 while playing as a ranked team in 2012 including six consecutive wins during the month of March - two to close out the regular season, three in the ACC Tournament and one during their school-record fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
FLORIDA STATE VS. RANKED TEAMS
Florida State has defeated 29 nationally ranked teams during the first 12 years of Jones’ career as the associate head coach at Florida State. Included in those 29 wins over ranked teams are six victories over nationally ranked Duke teams including two when the Blue Devils were ranked No. 1 in the country at the time (March 1, 2006, 79-74 and Jan. 12, 2011, 66-61). Florida State has defeated four top-five and six top-10 ranked Duke teams with Jones on Florida State’s staff. Jones has also helped Florida State earn three of the programs four all-time victories over the nation’s No. 1 ranked team. In addition, with two victories over nationally ranked Duke, North Carolina and Virginia teams in 2012, the Seminoles led the ACC with six victories over nationally ranked teams on the way to winning Florida State’s first ever ACC Championship.
As one of the top coaches in all of college basketball, Jones has been recognized several times for his achievements. As recently as 2012, he was selected as part of the elite group of assistant coaches from the input of more than 450 head and assistant coaches from around the nation.
HAILED AS A TOP ASSISTANT COACH IN 2014 BY SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
In 2014 Jones was on a short list of assistant coaches deemed ready for head coaching jobs as determined by Pete Thamel Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated. He was characterized by two current Division I head coaches as “a guy ready for the leap who is detail-oriented and has helped rebuild after rebuild.”
ONE OF THE TOP 15 BEST ASSISTANT COACHES IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Jones was named as one of the top 15 assistant coaches in all of college basketball by Daniel O’Brien of the Bleacher Report in 2012. He is one of only three assistant coaches from the ACC named to the list. Said Daniels: “It's tough to give North Carolina and Duke a run for their money in the ACC, but with Stan Jones' help, the Florida State Seminoles have achieved that and more. During his tenure assisting Leonard Hamilton, Jones has guided the team toward the top of the conference. The Seminoles went from a cellar-dwelling squad eight years ago to ACC tournament champs in 2012. The program has seen a drastic improvement in recruiting during Jones' decade in Tallahassee, and he's been able to maximize almost every prospect's potential.”
COLLEGE COACHES WITH EXTRAORDINARY PROMISE
Jones was praised for his high basketball IQ, success, incredible ability to coach players, the respect he has earned from each of the players he has coached during his career, his teaching ability and knowledge of how to implement strategy as a member of a select panel at the 2012 NCAA Final Four in New Orleans. Said ESPN.com Insider David Thorpe: “I consider Stan Jones the best "coach" that works as an assistant in the NCAA. He has been Leonard Hamilton's right-hand man when they turned around the programs at the University of Miami and now at Florida State. But unlike many assistant coaches, Jones had extensive experience and incredible success as a high school coach in Tennessee, winning multiple state titles while being considered one of the top five prep coaches in the country. In addition to becoming a top recruiter, Jones is a big part of what Florida State does from a philosophical standpoint (like fronting the post at all times -- no other team does so) as well as being the loudest voice at every FSU practice. His command of the game and its nuances rival that of Roy Williams and Coach K ... both of whom incidentally lost to FSU a combined four times (in 2012).”
AN IMPACT RECRUITER ACCORDING TO ESPN’S JAY BILAS
Jones was also praised for his recruiting and teaching abilities by expert analyst Jay Bilas of ESPN who selected an outstanding group of five recruiters who have a huge impact in recruiting players and building programs. Said Bilas: “Jones is one of the most respected assistant coaches in basketball and is another basketball man who is not at all about being flashy. He is about teaching and coaching, and about giving back to the game and those who play it. There is a perception out there that the best recruiters are younger assistant coaches. Jones is clear evidence that is not always the case. He has been in the game forever, never misses an important detail and really does his homework. The results are clear. There is no way that Florida State would be as successful in identifying and securing talent without Jones. He is truly outstanding.”
POSTSEASON AND NBA DRAFT
In his 18 years as a coach at the collegiate level, Jones has helped 15 different teams into postseason play including eight into the NCAA tournament. He has also recruited and coached 15 different NBA Draft selections, including five first round picks.
With 10 NBA Draft selections in the last 11 years, including three first round selections, Jones has helped Florida State become one of the top producers of NBA talent since his arrival in 2002. Florida State's three first round selections in the NBA Draft in the last eight seasons are nearly as many as Florida State produced during the decade of the 1990's (four) and nearly as many as were produced in the first 50 years of the program (six). Bernard James was the 33rd overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft and has helped the Mavericks into the NBA Playoffs in both of his first two seasons. Chris Singleton was selected as the 18th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft and joined Al Thornton (14th overall selection in 2007) and Toney Douglas (29th overall selection in 2009) as recent first round draft picks. Singleton was a two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Thornton was only the second NBA Draft Lottery selection in school history and Douglas was an All-ACC First Team selection as a senior. In the 2010 NBA Draft, Solomon Alabi and Ryan Reid became the first Seminole duo to be drafted in the same year since Doug Edwards and Sam Cassell were both chosen as first round selections in 1993. Tim Pickett, who earned All-America Honorable Mention and All-ACC First Team selection during his two-year career at Florida State, was a second round pick of the New Orleans Hornets in 2004, while Von Wafer was a second round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2005. Alexander Johnson was an All-ACC pick and was selected in the second round of the 2006 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers. With eight draft selections since 2004, Florida State is ranked third in the ACC for total draft selections and total first round picks. The Seminoles were one of only two ACC teams to have at least one player drafted each year from 2004-07, and in 2010 were one of two ACC teams (Georgia Tech) to have two players selected in the same draft.
BERNARD JAMES – FROM THE AIR FORCE TO THE NBA
Jones took particular pride in his coaching success when Florida State’s Bernard James was selected with the 33rd overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. Jones was a driving force behind the incredible all-around improvement of James who did not play high school basketball and served three tours of duty in Afghanistan and Qatar in the United States Air Force. James came to Florida State with a little more than two years of junior college basketball experience under his belt and left for the NBA after earning All-ACC, All-ACC Tournament and ACC All-Defensive Team honors in becoming the face of the Seminole program for two years. James closed his career ranked in the top five for blocked shots and field goal shooting percentage despite playing only two years as a Seminole.
NBA DRAFT CHOICE SOLOMON ALABI
In 2009, Jones helped sophomore center Solomon Alabi achieve All-ACC Third Team and ACC All-Defensive honors after earning Freshman All-America Honorable Mention and All-ACC Freshman honors in 2008. Jones was largely responsible for the development of Alabi who led the ACC in blocked shots in both 2008 and 2009. The 7-footer came to Tallahassee with seemingly limitless potential and Jones helped Alabi reach that potential. Alabi earned ACC All-Defensive team honors and became only the seventh freshman in league history to lead the conference in blocked shots with 73. In his second full season of action, Jones helped the center reach even greater heights as he improved in nearly every category including rebounds per game (5.6 to 6.2), points per game (8.4 to 11.7), blocked shots (73 to 75), and free throw percentage (.680 to .794). Alabi led the team in points and blocked shots per game as well as free throw percentage. Alabi's development allowed him to become the second round draft choice of the Dallas Mavericks in 2009.
NBA DRAFT PICKS AL THORNTON AND TIM PICKETT
Jones is also largely credited with the development of 2007 NBA Lottery Draft pick Al Thornton, who came to Florida State as a little known freshman in 2004 and finished his career as one of the top players in school history. After averaging just 2.8 points and 7.9 minutes played as a freshman, Thornton left Florida State for the NBA as an All-America Third Team and All-ACC First Team selection, the runner-up ACC Player of the Year and the eighth-leading all-time scorer in Seminole basketball history. Thornton was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in his first professional season. Jones's coaching talents have also been extolled for his work with Tim Pickett, who came to Florida State as a junior college transfer and left as a First Team All-ACC selection and an NBA Draft pick.
Since joining the ACC in 1992, Florida State has produced four All-ACC First Team selections, and Jones has helped coach three of them - Tim Pickett, Al Thornton and Toney Douglas. In total, he has coached 10 all-conference selections, with three All-ACC Second Team selections and three Third Team All-ACC selections on top of the three first team selections. In helping the Seminoles become the nation's most dominant defensive team, Jones has played an integral role in coaching the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in three of the last six seasons. All-American Toney Douglas was named the league's top defender in 2009 while Chris Singleton earned the honor in both 2010 and 2011. Michael Snaer was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team in 2013 and Okaro White was named to the team in 2014.
FSU TEAM STATISTICAL IMPROVEMENT
Jones is an extraordinary teacher of defensive principles and the Seminoles have deservedly earned the reputation as the best defensive team in all of college basketball. The statistics validate the reputation. Florida State has ranked in the nation’s top 10 in field goal percentage defense in four of the last six seasons and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament each time they ranked in the top 10. Not only was Florida State’s .363 field goal percentage defense in 2011 the fifth best mark in NCAA history – but it was the best in the ACC since 1960. The Seminoles led the NCAA in field goal percentage defense in both 2010 and 2011. Jones’ coaching helped Miami lead the nation in field goal percentage defense during the 1998-99 season. Florida State has led the ACC in field goal percentage defense four of the last six years including a league record four consecutive seasons (2009-12) and led the ACC in blocked shots and steals in 2012 in becoming only the fourth team in league history to lead the ACC in both blocked shots and steals in the same season. Florida State has led the ACC in blocked shots in four of the last five seasons and is the league’s best shot blocking team in the last six years.
SUCCESS AT MISSISSIPPI STATE
Jones helped lead Mississippi State to a school-best No. 3 seed in the 2002 NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs captured the school's second SEC tournament championship with victories over No. 11-ranked Florida and No. 8-ranked Alabama in the title game of the SEC Tournament. Mississippi State also recorded the school record for most wins in a single season with 27 in his only season in Starkville.
IN THE NBA WITH THE WASHINGTON WIZARDS
Jones was an assistant coach to Leonard Hamilton with the Washington Wizards in 2001.
In his final four seasons at Miami, Jones helped guide the Hurricanes to four postseason tournament appearances, a regular season Big East championship and the school's first ever NCAA Tournament “Sweet 16” appearance in 2000. Miami won a then-school record 23 games in 1999 on its way to the school's first ever top-10 national ranking. The Hurricanes were ranked No. 10 in the season ending Associated Press poll in 1999.
Assistant Coaching Record