MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2012
Jones selected for NCAA ACE program
JU assistant basketball coach Will Jones has been selected to the Achieving Coaches Excellence Program (ACE) as part of the class of 2012.

Jones, a 10-year coaching veteran who recently completed his first season with the Dolphins, was one of 25 applicants selected for this year’s program which helps train assistants for the next step in their career.

The ACE is a collaborative effort of the NCAA and the Black Coaches and Administrators (BCA) to further the advancement of minority men and women in intercollegiate athletics. The program is designed to assist an already talented group to become the next generation of intercollegiate head basketball coaches.

“The program helps in the promotion of minorities in Division I coaching,’’ Jones said. “In the next several years it should help me get the opportunity to become a head coach.’’

Jones spent four days earlier this month at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis in an intensive program divided into “on-court” and “off-court” instructions. Completion of the program not only advances coaching skills and marketability of advancement of ethnic minorities but assists with developing the total coach in the areas of communications, budget planning, X’s and O’s and program development.

“It has an excellent rate of success,’’ Jones, who graduated from South Carolina State and has a masters from Tennessee State, said. “Forty-five participants have become head coaches over the last seven years.’’ Among them are former Dolphin assistant Charlton Young who is the head coach at Georgia Southern.

“Since the program came out it has really given more opportunities to be involved in the process which has led to more hiring of African-American coaches,’’ Jones said.

JU head coach Cliff Warren is enthusiastic in his support of Jones and the program.

“Will’s very deserving; it will help him in his career and will help our program,’’ Warren said. “We want him to become a better basketball coach. The program helps refine the skills he has, adds new skills he might not have and polishes his skills.’’

The ACE program is administered by the BCA and supported by the student-athlete affairs and leadership development group of the NCAA national office. The BCA also works closely with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The BCA also relies on its member coaches and administrators to conduct the programs.

“We welcome the new and improved Will Jones,’’ Warren said. “The ACE program gives you a fresh outlook to help motivate you in your current position.’’

- Jim Nasella