COURTESY: NORFOLK STATE ATHLETICS
NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State University Director of Athletics Marty L. Miller announced Thursday that men’s basketball coach Robert Jones has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him at the helm of the program through the 2022-23 season.
Jones has one year remaining on his current contract, and will receive an additional three years in his new deal.
“Coach Jones has been instrumental in the men’s program achieving success both on and off the court,” Miller said. “In addition to the NIT berth last season, he has led the team to the MEAC tournament championship game two of the last three years.
“The men’s basketball program also achieved a perfect 1,000 score (2017-18) in the latest APR report, which reflects the academic success of the men’s basketball student-athletes as well as the overall academic accomplishments of the department. They played a significant role in helping the athletics department achieve an overall grade point average of 3.05, the highest academic average for student-athletes in the school’s history.”
“My family and I are thankful for the commitment made by our administration to the Norfolk State men’s basketball program and our staff,” Jones said. “We are truly humbled and blessed. This campus and community are special in countless ways, and they love college basketball, especially their Spartans. I want to thank President Dr. Melvin T. Stith, Athletics Director Marty L. Miller and the NSU Board of Visitors for the opportunity to continue to execute the plan put into place when we started a couple of years ago. It allows us stability in our recruiting and to continue to build our program with a commitment to doing things the right way.”
Jones has posted a 109-96 overall record, including a 72-24 mark in MEAC play, in his first six seasons leading the Spartans. NSU won the MEAC regular-season title with a 14-2 league ledger this past season, just the second of its kind in program history. Jones was named the MEAC Coach of the Year and the NABC District 15 Coach of the Year and also won CollegeInsider’s Skip Prosser Award, which is presented annually to a Division I coach who not only achieves success on the court but also displays moral integrity off of it.
The year culminated in the program’s second-ever NIT berth. The Spartans pulled off one of the biggest upsets in NIT history when, as the No. 8 seed, they knocked off No. 1 seed Alabama 80-79 on the road. The NIT appearance was the fifth postseason appearance in Jones’ six years as head coach, which also includes four CollegeInsider Tournament (CIT) berths from 2014-17.
“This extension is a testament to the work our staff and players have put in, and we are thankful to continue working to represent this university and our community on a national stage as we work tirelessly to compete for championships,” added Jones. “We have accomplished many historic feats since I arrived here as an assistant in 2007, and there are still new levels that we would like to reach at this great institution!”
Miller concluded: “Coach Jones has done an exceptional job leading our men’s basketball program. This extension will provide continuity for the program as they continue to build momentum heading into the future.”