BasketballRetirementSun Belt

Long-time Old Dominion head coach Jeff Jones announces retirement

Old Dominion head men’s basketball coach Jeff Jones has announced his retirement after 10+ seasons with the program and over 40 years in college coaching. He leaves with a 203-131 overall record at ODU and 560 total wins as a head coach, with previous tenures at Virginia (1990-98) and American (2000-13).

Jones, 63, has been away from the program since January, when the school announced that he would be taking a medical leave for the remainder of the 2023-24 season. He suffered a heart attack in December before the team tipped off Diamond Head Classic play in Hawaii. Upon returning to Virginia, he learned that he would need to re-start treatment for prostate cancer, which he has been battling on and off since 2015. Long-time staffer Kieran Donohue has been serving as the Monarchs’ interim head coach since December.

“I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to coach college basketball for 41 years,” Jones said in a statement on Monday. “These past 11 years at Old Dominion University have been especially rewarding. I would like to thank ODU President Brian Hemphill and Athletic Director Wood Selig for their unwavering support and friendship. I would like to thank my staff for their hard work and dedication, especially Kieran Donohue for taking the reins these last few months. I would like to thank Monarch Nation for being the best fan base a coach could ever ask for, for their conference-leading attendance, and for their undying commitment to this program. And I would like to thank the many student-athletes who made us proud both on and off the court.

“Basketball has given me a life that exceeded all of my expectations.  It is hard to step away from coaching, but I will always be grateful to the people along the way who made this career possible. Thank you to the players, the assistants, the administrators, the fans, the families, and the friends who have been part of this journey – you will be a member of my team for life.”

Jones took his alma mater Virginia to the NCAA Tournament five times, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 1995 after winning a share of the ACC title that season. He returned to the Big Dance with both American (2008 and 2009) and Old Dominion (2019), putting him in a select group of head coaches to lead three different programs into March Madness.

This year’s team has struggled, currently just 7-22 overall and in last place in the Sun Belt at 3-13. They have two regular season games remaining after beating Coastal Carolina this past weekend – trips to Appalachian State (2/28) and Georgia Southern (3/1).


credit to Old Dominion Athletics for the image