Monday, October 20, 2014

New Coach in Newbury
July 15, 2014 by Jamie Ward | No Comments

Dan Jones hopes to bring stability to a program that desperately needs it.

Dan Jones is the fifth Newbury basketball coach in five seasons.

He is young and eager to change the Black Knights’ culture, full of losses and frustration.

“I’m excited about that challenge,” Jones said. “The challenge to turn things around. It’s an exciting new time at Newbury.”

Jones joins Tim Glodowski, the school’s new football coach, in that respect. The two met for a half hour last week about the direction they’d like to take the school’s two major boys varsity sports.

“More than anything, we need a culture about competing,” ghe said. “We’re not going to look at wins and losses. We’re going to let the results take care of themselves. One of the challenges is how to get young guys excited about the game of basketball here.”

Jones, who turns 29 in August, is a 2004 graduate of Niles-McKinley, where he scored over 1,000 points as a guard on the basketball team. He was a second-team Div. II All-state performer.

From there, he played one season at Youngstown State University before transferring to Notre Dame College, where he played two seasons before transition right into coaching.

He spent two years with the Falcons as a graduate assistant and two years a full-time assistant before taking the Newbury job. During the time he has learned a lot from other coaches and plans on using a bit from each experience.

“There’s really no magic bullet, no magic pill,” he said. “I’ve seen every system be successful and every system fail. At the end of the day, it’s about the kids who are running it.”

Jones wants his Black Knights to have a high basketball IQ and then play with intelligence on the court. His experience as a point guard and combo guard should help that has struggled for years to break opposing team’s full-court press, often sinking the team’s chances early on.

But each of the coaches that have come before Jones have said similar things. None of them have delivered.

Not since Tom Pokorny, a high school teacher and varsity baseball coach, has the team had any kind of consistency from year to year.

Newbury graduate Chris Day coached one season in 2011-12. Mark Leiendecker followed for one season; Mark Taylor the season after that.

Jones is currently an enrollment counselor at Notre Dame College. He found the coaching opening on the Ohio High School Athletic Associaton’s website. His salary at Newbury will be $5,383.

Being able to coach and remain at Notre Dame College was important to him. “(The job) intrigued me because of the challenges there,” he said of Newbury.

In an email statement from the school, Athletic Director Paul Toth wrote: “We are very excited about Dan Jones joining the Black Knight Family. Dan brings a combination of youthful enthusiasm and a solid background of playing and coaching experience. Coach Jones has shown a genuine interest in coaching ‘life skills’ along with strong fundamental basketball played with an upbeat style on both ends of the floor.

“We are truly blessed to have such a qualified individual available for us to offer to our students and the people of Newbury.”

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