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Man of Mystery: Brad Jones

Jody Genessy broke the news earlier today that Brad Jones is the fourth candidate being considered for head coach. Although Brad is fairly well-known as the player development coach that moved into Jeff Hornacek's spot as one of Ty's assistant coaches, I thought I should do a "deep dive" and pull some information together on Brad.

Tutored and Developed. Brad grew up surrounded by coaches. His father was a football offensive coordinator at Austin Peay University, and his mother started the girls sports programs at his high school. His uncle, Jerry Sloan, was the next biggest influence in his life. Brad spent summers playing with Sloan's children and attending Jerry's basketball camp in Chicago when Sloan was coaching the Bulls.

Brad graduated from Lambuth University and went on to obtain a Master's degree in health and physical education from the University of Memphis. Brad was hired on as an assistant for Tommy Russell on the Lambuth University men's basketball team around 1992-'93. Once Sloan found out Brad was working as a basketball coach, Jerry started inviting him to training camps and involving him in camp coaches meetings. Tommy Russell left Lambuth in 1996 and Brad was promoted to head coach at that time. Brad's system was heavily influenced by Sloan's system.

Brad had five 20 win seasons at Lambuth; I can't provide you with his exact coaching record as Lambuth is a Division II school and the Mid-South Conference website does not list team standings for 1996-'97 nor for 1998-'99. Having said that, the school's record for 1997-'98 was 20-14; for 1999-'00 was 28-8; for 2000-'01 was 22-11; and for 2001-'02 was 20-13; a total of 90-46 (win percent of .662). Brad took his team to the Division II tournament in 2000 (the first appearance in school history), and they made it to the second round before being knocked-out by Biola (California) 60-71. As an aside, Biola went on to the Division II final four that year; losing to Georgetown College (Kentucky) in quadruple overtime 108-118.

Following Brad's tenure at Lambuth, he was hired on as a regional advance scout for the Utah Jazz. In 2007, Brad was hired to coach the Utah Flash. Brad once again implemented a Jerry Sloan type of system and went on to an 84-66 record (.560 win percent). Brad guided the Flash to two playoff appearances and reached the D-League finals in 2008-'09. Brad was released by the Flash after the 2009-'10 season and was hired on for the 2010-'11 season by the Austin Toros to replace previous Toro coach Quin Snyder.

Like Quin, Brad was tasked with molding the Toros around a Spurs styled offense. Brad guided the Toros to a 55-45 record in his two year stint (.550 win percent). His 2011-'12 team set a franchise record in going 33-17 during the year and had a D-League best season start of 18-4 for 22 games played. That team also won the D-League championship; its first.

In 2012, Brad was hired on to be the Jazz player development coach; and in 2013 he moved into the role of assistant coach to replace Horny.

Willing to try something new. While with the Austin Toros, Brad worked with the Spurs in testing out/implementing new ideas. For instance, the Spurs tested out a new nutrition plan via the Toros, and had the team wear athlete tracking technology from Catapult Sports.

Lori can coach too. Brad's wife, Lori, coached at both Lambuth (8 years) and Southeastern Louisiana University (twelve years). Lori was successful in her 8 years at Lambuth; she enjoyed seven straight 20 win seasons and four consecutive Division II tournament berths, while advancing to the second round three times. Lori wasn't as successful at Southeastern Louisiana having a record of 144-201 during her time there (.417 win percent); however, she did end a drought of twelve losing seasons for the school in 2006-07 taking the team to a 17-13 record and brought the school its first conference title that same year.

Other family facts. Lori has a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in Education. Brad and Lori have three children (Justin, Jackson, and Isabella).

Quotes on Brad. Here are the quotes I found; most are from Brad:

RC Buford on Brad, "While it's easy to measure the success Brad enjoyed in leading the Toros to the 2012 D-League Championship what impressed us was his ability and desire to teach and develop young talent. We'll miss his leadership and knowledge but, at the same time, we are thrilled that he has the opportunity to join the Utah Jazz Coaching staff."

Andrew McNeill on Brad's playbook Brad's first year with the Toros, "This year's version of the Toros should look and play a lot like the big club in San Antonio. Chatting with assistant coaches Tyler Jenkins and Alex Lloyd, they mentioned that last year they had a much more experimental playbook. Presumably with Coach Snyder in his third season coaching the team, he had a grasp on the San Antonio system.

"But with a new head coach, the playbook has been pared down to the basics of the Spurs system. For example, where every offensive play the Spurs run in San Antonio has a first, second, third, and sometimes fourth, option. The Toros playbook may only include the first two options for each play. The system in Austin is enough so that if a player were to be called-up to San Antonio, he would at least have a basic grasp on the system and wouldn't be lost."

Brad on growing up around Jerry Sloan, "I would definitely say that had something to do with my interest in basketball. I was real close with his kids. We saw each other regularly, as much as cousins see each other, during the summer."

Brad on being a part of Jazz training camps, coaches' meetings before practices and Revue games (reminder: Jones had been attending since 1992 or '93), "I'm actually on the floor with them. It's the absolute best. I don't know if you could have a better staff to learn from. They're basketball geniuses. I don't get excited about a whole lot of things, but just sitting there and listening to the way they do things, it's just unbelievable."

Brad on Fesenko, "Boy, is he talented. Yeah, I'm his No. 1 fan. Of course, you know what? He doesn't want to play for me. None of these guys want to play in the D League, and I appreciate that."

Sources:

Tommy Russell, Lantern Yearbook
Tommy Russell
1996 Lantern
2000 NAIA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
Lambuth University
High-tech Bras for D-Leaguers
Spurs 2010 Announcement
Utah Flash 2007 Announcement
2012 NBA D-League Announcement
Named Head Coach of Toros
Toros Looking Like Spurs
Brad Jones Succeeds Quin Snyder
Revisiting Toros
Coach Profile
Named Horny's Replacement #1
Named Horny's Replacement #2
Lori Jones Bio
2002 Lambuth Resignation
2007 Basketball in Blood
Mid-South Conference Standings

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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