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Brian Jones steps down as North Dakota head coach, will join Illinois State staff

Brian Jones is stepping down after 13 seasons as the head coach at North Dakota to take the associate head coach role on Dan Muller‘s staff at Illinois State.

“Anytime someone invests over a decade as a head coach at one school in this day and age, it is a tremendous upset but Coach Jones did that and more,” AD Bill Chaves said Wednesday. “He took us from Division II to Division I, independent status, and then three DI conferences all the while doing with integrity and hard work.”

Jones was 190-217 during his time at UND and 140-150 since moving up to Division I in 2010. He led the Fighting Hawks to five CITs and then, in 2017, to their first ever D-I NCAA Tournament.

“The driving force behind this decision is ‘family’ based,” Jones said in the statement. “The want and need to be closer to our family, is something that has become evident to me. Since arriving to campus, I’ve had my head down working endless hours trying to build/establish a program that has seen many changes in our landscape. As I look up 13 years later, I realized my children are just a few short years away from being off on their own. Time is one of the most precious, and unrenewable resource we have in life, and I want to be able to experience more of this with our entire family.”

An Illinois-native, Jones spent most of his coaching career in the Midwest. Before taking over at UND, he was an assistant under Steve Alford for seven seasons at Iowa and one at Missouri State.

Chaves announced that assistant coach Steve Grabowski has been named interim head coach as the search for a permanent replacement begins immediately.


credit to USA Today Sports for the photo