Columbia Basketball

Say It Ain't So, Joe! Columbia Coach Joe Jones Leaves for Boston College

Sam BlumCorrespondent IApril 9, 2010

As if things for the Columbia men's basketball program weren't bad enough. 

It became official today that Joe Jones will be leaving his home of seven years for an "associate head coaching position" at Boston College with former Cornell head coach Steve Donahue. 

The rumors had been circulating all week, after ESPN.com's Andy Katz announced that another Ivy League coach might be headed to Chestnut Hill. It was widely speculated that Joe Jones was that man, however, he denied that he was asked by Donahue. 

However, at around 5:20 p.m the Columbia athletics website announced that Joe Jones had accepted a high level coaching job at Boston College.

This news comes three days after Steve Donahue left behind a Cornell team fresh off a Sweet 16 berth to come to Boston College. Also joining Jones is former Cornell assistant Nat Grahm, and now-former Penn assistant John Gallagher. 

Jones has been a beloved member of the Columbia community for all of his seven years at the school.

He led his team in 2006-2007 to a 16-12 record, the best in about 14 years. His teams were 86-108 combined over the past seven years. Keep in mind, however, that the year before he came to Columbia, the Lions were 2-25.

The next year, they were 10-17. 

Columbia's Director of Athletics M. Diane Murphy said, "We are extremely grateful for all of Joe's hard work on behalf of Columbia and our men's basketball team over the past seven year.

"His commitment to Columbia, the men's basketball team and our student-athletes made a tremendous impact. Our men's basketball program is in much better shape now than when he first arrived, and for that we are very thankful." 

The Columbia team under Joe Jones was always a scrappy one. They played tough defense, and found ways to score the ball. His teams were always in the top of the league in defensive categories. In the 2009-2010 season, Columbia led the NCAA in three-point shooting for multiple weeks towards the beginning of the season. 

Jones was not just a popular man in Morningside Heights. He was also featured several times on NCAA March Madness on Demand for CBSSports.com, where he had many good things to say about the Cornell basketball program and Steve Donahue. 

Columbia has not announced any news relating to a possible new head coach. 

Out of the seven NYC teams, five of them (St. Francis, Columbia, Wagner, St. John's, and Fordham) have changed their head coaches.

Other New York-area teams such as Hofstra, Seton Hall, Iona, and Rutgers all have found or are looking for new leaders. It also looked as if Manhattan College's head coach was going to be taking a position at St. John's, but that deal fell through.

Columbia will need to work quick. There is some fierce competition out there.  

Information from espn.com and gocolumbialions.com was used in this story. 

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