Johnny Jones now has the coaching job he has coveted for years, and LSU hopes his passion for his alma mater re-invigorates the Tigers' fan base and keeps Louisiana's top high school basketball players from leaving the state.
Jones, who coached North Texas for the past 11 seasons, has agreed to take over the Tigers, returning to where he played his college ball and was an assistant coach.
"I am pleased to welcome Johnny Jones back to Baton Rouge where he helped build a winner and where I am confident he will once again build a winner and bring excitement back," LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said Friday night. "He is the solid coach and recruiter that we need and I am particularly impressed with his passion for LSU. It is his passion that I know will translate into success on and off the court for our student-athletes."
The 51-year-old Jones played in the 1981 Final Four for then-LSU coach Dale Brown. In 1986, he was one of Brown's assistants with another Final Four squad.