James Jones, the all-time winningest men’s basketball coach at Yale University, was named on May 20, 2021, an assistant coach for the USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team. Jones helped the 2021 USA U19 World Cup Team to a gold medal and a 7-0 record at the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup in Riga, Latvia.
“It’s an honor to have been selected to represent the United States and USA Basketball for the FIBA U19 World Cup,” said Jones.
Jones has prior experience with USA Basketball, serving as an assistant coach for the February 2021 USA Basketball AmeriCup Qualifying Team, the 2007 USA Men’s Pan American Games Team and as a court coach for the 2006 USA Men’s U18 National Team Trials.
He is one of the most successful coaches in Ivy League history. The longest tenured coach in the league, he enters the 2020-21 season with 333 career victories, which is the second most in league history, and his 180 Ivy wins are the third most in league history.
Jones has guided the Bulldogs to five Ivy League championships (2002, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020), three NCAA Tournament berths (2016, 2019, 2020), and six postseason appearances. His .612 winning percentage in Ivy games is the highest in school history.
Over the last six seasons, Yale compiled a remarkable 63-21 Ivy record, won four league titles and earned three NCAA Tournament berths, including notching the first NCAA victory in school history.
Inducted into New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015, he was named the 2019 recipient of the Ben Jobe Award as the top minority coach in Division I men's basketball. He is a three-time Ivy League Coach of the Year (2015, 2016, 2020) and also has been named the NABC District 13 Coach of the Year three times.
Yale won at least 10 Ivy games six times during Jones’ tenure and have had a fourth-place or better finish in the Ivy League for a remarkable 20 straight years. He has led Yale to the postseason six times – the 2020 NCAA Tournament, the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the 2016 NCAA Tournament, the 2012 and 2014 CollegeInsider.com Tournament and the 2002 NIT.
In 2019-20, Jones led Yale to 23 victories, tying his 2015-16 team for the most in the modern era of Yale Basketball, and an Ivy League championship for the fourth time in the last six years. The Bulldogs were set to play in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 public health threat.
In 2015-16, Jones led the Bulldogs to the most successful season in school history. Yale won 23 games, the most since 1906-07, captured a second straight Ivy League title with a 13-1 record, matching the 1961-62 team for the best in school history, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 54 years where the Bulldogs upset Baylor to earn Yale’s first NCAA Tournament victory .
In June of 2016, The National Association of Basketball Coaches selected him for an ad hoc committee on NCAA men's basketball tournament selection, seeding and bracketing, and in 2018 he was selected to coach the East Squad at the Reese's College All-Star game.
An assistant coach at Yale for two seasons from 1995-97, Jones returned to Yale as head coach after two years as an assistant coach at Ohio University.
A Long Island, N.Y., native, Jones served as an assistant basketball coach for five seasons (1990-95) at his alma mater, the University at Albany (N.Y.). In his final two coaching seasons at Albany, he helped lead the team to a 44-11 record and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including reaching the Elite Eight in 1993-94.
Jones graduated from Albany in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and in 1995 earned his master’s in educational administration. As a player at Albany, Jones was captain of the freshman team and was selected as the team’s Freshman of the Year. He played for and coached with the legendary Dr. Richard Sauers, one of only seven collegiate coaches to win more than 700 games.