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Radford's Mike Jones named men's basketball coach at UNCG

Radford's Mike Jones named men's basketball coach at UNCG

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Mike Jones

Mike Jones guided the Radford Highlanders to the Big South Conference championship and an NCAA Tournament bid in 2018.

GREENSBORO — UNCG has moved quickly to find a successor to Wes Miller and settled on Radford University coach Mike Jones to lead its men's basketball program. He will be introduced at a news conference at 4 p.m. Monday at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Jones had been the head coach at Radford since the 2011-12 season, the same year that Miller became UNCG's head coach. The Highlanders were 174-150 overall and 99-75 in the Big South Conference during his tenure. In 2020-21, Radford was 15-12 overall and 12-6 in the league.

Jones was named the Big South's coach of the year in 2018 and 2020 and was National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District III coach of the year in 2018. His 2017-18 team won the Big South tournament and defeated LIU, 71-61, in the NCAA Tournament's First Four before losing to eventual national champion Villanova, 87-61, in the second round. His 2018-19 and 2019-20 teams won the Big South's regular-season title, but lost in the conference tournament.

He coached the conference player of the year (Carlik Jones) in 2019-20 and conference defensive players of the year in 2018-19 (Ed Polite) and 2014-15 (Javonte Green). Carlik Jones was the Big South's freshman of the year in 2017-18.

After winning the Big South in 2018, Mike Jones received a four-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season. That deal was extended again in March 2019, taking it through the 2024-25 season and increasing the base pay from $230,000 to $300,000 annually. Miller was paid $301,150 per season by UNCG before leaving April 14 to become head coach at Cincinnati.

Jones will be the first Black head men's basketball coach at UNCG. He is a 1990 graduate of Howard University, where he played all four years, with a degree in zoology. His wife, Dr. Sharon Blackwell Jones, is an assistant professor and faculty member at Radford working most recently in the Office of Academic Programs on Diversity and Strategic Initiatives.

Jones' older son, Nate, played basketball at Bucknell. His younger son, Miles, was a 6-foot-6, 210-pound sophomore forward on this year's Radford team and appeared in 26 games, averaging 1.2 points and 1.7 rebounds.

Jones' father, Jimmy, was a standout guard in the American Basketball Association and also played in the NBA. He played in Greensboro against the ABA's Carolina Cougars as a member of the New Orleans Buccaneers, Memphis Pros and Utah Stars.

This story will be updated.

Contact Joe Sirera at 336-373-7034, and follow @JoeSireraSports on Twitter.

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