Johnny Jones was named the University of Memphis' interim head coach on Nov. 14, 1999, replacing Tic Price who had resigned earlier in the day.
Jones, one of the most visible collegiate recruiters in the nation, begins his third season at the U of M and is the 15th head coach in the history of the Tiger program. The previous two seasons he served as the associate head coach and headed up the national recruiting program for the Tigers, as well as assisting with on-floor coaching and practice organization.
Jones came to the Tigers by way of Louisiana State where he worked under Dale Brown for 12 years. Prior to his coaching days, Jones, 38, was a player for the LSU Tigers in the early '80s and was a member of the 1980-81 team that won the SEC, advanced to the Final Four and won a school-record 31 games. Jones is the only person in the history of LSU basketball to coach and play in the Final Four.
As a player, Jones started in 54 games for the Purple and Gold and led them in assists as a junior with 124, earning a top five ranking in the SEC that season. Even now, Jones is ranked seventh all-time at LSU in career assists with 271 and eighth in steals with 136. A celebrated recruit coming out of high school, Jones was nicknamed, "The Bullet", following in the legend of Pete Maravich, known as "The Pistol."
Jones began his coaching career in 1984-85 as a student assistant at LSU before being hired on full-time by Brown the following season. Brown elevated Jones to associate head coach in 1994.
A nationally known recruiter, Jones signed McDonald's All-Americans Ronnie Henderson, Duane Spencer, Randy Livingston and Deuce Ford. He was also on the staff which inked Shaquille O'Neal and Chris Jackson. LSU's 1996 recruiting class was ranked in the top five in the nation.
Jones, and his wife Kelli, have a son, John Vincent, who was born last June and are expecting a second child the first of the year.