After leading the UCF men’s basketball program to three-consecutive 20-win campaigns, head coach Donnie Jones has signed a contract extension through 2018, Vice President and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury announced Friday. The agreement adds three years to Jones’ current contract.
In three years at UCF, Jones has led the Knights to some of the biggest victories in program history. The Knights went 20-11 this past season, marking only the second time since the program moved to Division I in 1984 that they registered 20 victories in three-straight years.
“Donnie has done a remarkable job in building the program. We are very excited about the future of the men’s basketball program and Donnie is a huge part of that future,” Stansbury said. “Going into the new conference, having his leadership is crucial to our future success.”
Jones led the Knights to some huge wins in 2012-13, including a triumph at in-state rival USF to open the season and wins over top-50 RPI squads in Belmont and Southern Miss. The head coach helped Isaiah Sykes develop into one of the most versatile players in the country and earn All-Conference USA First Team, C-USA All-Defensive Team and NABC District 11 First Team honors.
Keith Clanton, who concluded his career as the Knights’ all-time leader in rebounds, blocks, games played and starts, was named to the All-C-USA Second Team and the all-district first team. Jones has coached five All-C-USA selections at UCF and has coached three 1,000-point scorers.
“I appreciate the commitment to our program and support from Todd Stansbury and President (John C.) Hitt,” Jones said. “I am extremely excited about the future of our program as we move into the American Athletic Conference. This is an incredible time to be part of the UCF family and my family is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful university. We have made great progress and will continue to work tirelessly to make the program one of the best in the country.”
In his second season in Orlando, Jones helped the Knights record several historic achievements in 2011-12. UCF went 22-11 overall, posting the fourth-most victories for the program at the D-I level, and received its first invitation to the postseason NIT. The Knights also advanced to the C-USA Championship semifinals for the first time.
In league play in 2011-12, the Knights registered their first wins over Memphis and UAB. Jones also led UCF to one of the biggest wins in program history in non-conference action as the Knights defeated No. 4-ranked and defending national champion UConn at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Under Jones, the Knights are also making strides in the classroom. The team established top-GPA records in 2012-13 and four members of the squad were named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. Seven Knights have earned their degrees during his tenure.