Head coach Mike Jones has completed seven seasons at the helm of the Radford men’s basketball program after taking the position on June 14, 2011.
2017-18 was his most successful season to date, winning Big South Coach of the Year and NABC District 3 Coach of the Year honors after leading the Highlanders to a Big South championship and playing in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history. Taking Coach Jones' lead, Radford set a school record with 23 wins thanks to its first ever NCAA Tournament victory - a 71-61 win over LIU Brooklyn in the First Four.
He also became the third head coach in Radford history to reach 100 wins on Dec. 23, 2017 when the Highlanders topped UC Davis to clinch the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic title.
The seventh head coach in program history, Jones took over a program with just one win in the season prior to his arrival on campus and led a three-year turnaround that resulted in back-to-back 22-win seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Radford competed in postseason play those two seasons as well, with Highlanders taking home the program’s first and second postseason victories over Oregon State and Delaware State in the College Basketball Invitational.
During his tenure, the Highlanders have defeated opponents such as Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Penn State with plans to add to that list. The success of the program has led to an increase in exposure all over the country with the team appearing on national and regional television countless times.
Radford’s success can be attributed to the foundation laid in Jones’ first season in the red and white with Big South All-Freshman selections Javonte Green and R.J. Price. Green, who was Jones’ first All-Big South performer, and Price spearheaded the Highlanders’ resurgence to the top of the league.
Under Jones’ tutelage, Green developed into one of the all-time greats in Radford men’s basketball history. The Petersburg, Va., native finished his career second in scoring, first in rebounding, first in steals, second in free throws made, second in field goals made and first in games played. Price left RU ranked fourth all-time in scoring.
The duo represents two of six Highlanders to turn pro following their career in Radford. Cam Jones, Rashun Davis, Cam Brown and Brandon Holcomb have all gone from learning under Jones to extending their basketball careers into the professional realm.
Radford’s most recent season under Jones, 2016-17, saw the Highlanders reach the Big South Championship Semifinals for the first time since 2010. Ed Polite Jr., led the Big South in rebounding and double-doubles (14) during 2016-17. He also led Radford in scoring and steals, and ranking second on the team in blocks and third in assists. The 6-5 forward averaged 9.5 rebounds per game to rank 31st in the NCAA, while becoming the first sophomore in program history to reach the 500 career rebound-mark and the second to do so in two seasons of play.
The Highlanders opened the 2015-16 campaign with a double-overtime victory at Georgetown and followed up just 10 days later with a road win at Penn State, the program's first victory over a Big 10 opponent.
Jones spent the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons at VCU, which included a magical run to the 2011 Final Four with wins over USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and Kansas. While on Shaka Smart’s staff, the Rams posted 55 wins over the final two seasons Jones was on the staff, the highest total over any two-year span in program history.
Prior to his second coaching stop in Virginia at VCU, Jones served a six-year stint on Dennis Felton’s bench at Georgia from 2003-09. In 2008, Georgia advanced to the NCAA Tournament when the sixth-seeded Bulldogs won four games in three days to complete the most improbable SEC Championship run in conference history, which included a tornado striking the Georgia Dome and the tournament being moved to the Georgia Tech campus.
While at Georgia, Jones made a name for himself when Rivals.com selected him as one of the nation’s Top-25 recruiters in 2005.
Jones also previously worked under John Beilein at Richmond from 2000-02 and during the early stages of Beilein’s rebuilding project at West Virginia in 2002-03.
Jones’ father, Jimmy, was a star guard in the ABA from 1967-74. In 1974, Jimmy Jones signed with the Washington Bullets in the NBA, where he remained until 1977.
Jones was a four-year standout at Howard, where he forged a connection with fellow Howard alumnus, Felton (’85), who he calls the biggest influence on his coaching career.
Once Jones graduated in 1990, he began his coaching career as a high school coach at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. before moving to the collegiate ranks at his alma mater in 1994.