GREENVILLE – Bobby Jones was unanimously approved 5-0 by the Greenville Board of Education to serve as the Green Wave head boys varsity Basketball Coach for the 2020-2021 season.
“I would like to thank the administration at Greenville for giving me the opportunity to come over and help build what I think is going to be a pretty good basketball program,” said Jones. “My wife, my kids and myself are really excited. It is a good opportunity to put our stamp on Greenville basketball and put a team out on the floor I think that the parents and the community are going to be really proud of.”
“It was really apparent to me going through the interview process that Greenville was hungry to have a very competitive basketball program,” continued Jones. “The kids are hungry to have a good basketball program along with the parents and certainly the administration – that was something that really stuck out to me.”
Coach Jones brings 22 years of coaching experience, 12 of which have been as a head boys basketball coach at Indiana’s Hagerstown High School and Ohio’s Talawanda High School and Tri-Village High School.
“I spent 10 years at Hagerstown (Indiana) and we built our basketball program with multi-talented athletes,” Jones stated. “Most of my players at Hagerstown played football, baseball and excelled in that and we were able to build our basketball program with kids that were multi-sport athletes.”
“That is one thing that is really appealing to me,” continued Jones. “Greenville has had a lot of good athletes that were multi-talented, multi-sport athletes. That is important when you’re trying to build a successful program and you have kids that can not only excel in basketball but excel in other sports as well.”
Jones has a career record of 143 wins and 130 losses as a head coach. Prior to becoming a head coach, Jones was an assistant coach at Winchester High School in neighboring Indiana where he helped the team reach the Indiana Class II State Finals in 2007 and 2008.
“I have kept an eye on Greenville for quite some time,” Jones noted. “I spent four years at Winchester with Chip Mehaffey and spent a lot of time in Greenville. To me Greenville is one of those school systems that is kind of a diamond in the rough when it comes to athletics. There is a lot of opportunity to have a really strong basketball program, lot of good athletes that are multi-talented.”
Coach Bobby Jones grew up in New Castle, Indiana playing high school basketball for the legendary Sam Alford through his sophomore season before moving to Blue River Valley High School located between New Castle and Muncie where he played varsity basketball his junior and senior seasons.
Jones played before nearly 9,600 fans both his junior and senior seasons competing in the Indiana sectionals at New Castle’s Chrysler Fieldhouse, the last season before implementation of class basketball in Indiana.
Following graduation from Blue River in 1997, Jones attended Ball State University where he served as student manager for the Ball State men’s basketball team as well as playing on the team’s practice squad his freshman season before accepting a coaching position the following year.
“A good friend of mine became the head coach at Blue River Valley,” said Jones. “I started my coaching career in the 1999-2000 season at Blue River and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Coach Jones comes from a basketball family including his father, Richard Jones, 1963 Indiana Mr. Basketball where he played on the Muncie Central State Championship basketball team. Mr. Jones went on to play basketball for Miami University where he was a teammate of NBA great, Rick Berry. Jones is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
“My dad was pretty excited when I told him I got the head coaching job at Greenville,” said Bobby. “Once I get to Greenville and get things going, he is going to come over and talk to the kids. He’s pretty excited about it too.”
Coach Jones understands the challenges ahead including the disadvantage of Greenville being only one of two Miami Valley League (MVL) programs at the Division II level with eight larger schools at the D-I level.
“I don’t look at it as a disadvantage,” said Jones. “I look at it as a positive. Everybody likes the underdog and I think Greenville the last few years has been the underdog most of the time. I feel like with the program that we are going to put in play and the level of preparation and time that we are going to put in and the commitment from our coaches and our players, if we get the buy-in quickly from the players and the parents I think we are going to be able to compete at a very high level.”
“In my 10 years at Hagerstown we were pretty much the underdog in a lot of the games we played in but the system of play that we put in and the level of physicality that we played with in our games allowed us to compete at a very high level. That is the same type of program that we are going to put in place at Greenville.”
“We are going to establish the mindset from the get-go that we expect to win. We want our kids walking out on the floor with confidence and with that attitude of expecting to win because of the time, the commitment and the effort they put in in the off season when the season starts.”
“That is something we try to do with the kids very, very early and I think once the kids see what type of program we are going to put in place and the level of enthusiasm that our coaching staff has, I’m pretty confident it is going to rub off on the kids rather quickly. They are going to get acclimated rather quickly and vise versa. We are going to hit the ground running.”
“We have the athletes to do that at Greenville,” Jones added. “I really believe the administration, the community, the parents and the players are really hungry to have a good basketball program.”
Coach Jones took time to talk about his style of play and what the Greenville community can come to expect.
“I am a defensive minded coach – that is no secret,” explained Jones. “Anybody that knows me knows our teams typically play pretty physical man-to-man defense. I have been fortunate enough through the years to work for some good coaches that were very good at teaching zone defense. With the level of talent that is the MVL, you’re going to have to be able to adjust to what you do defensively.”
“If people were to ask you how our teams are going to play, they would say that Greenville is going to be physical, they are going to play good team defense, try to pressure the basketball with an emphasis on strong team rebounding. Typically my teams are pretty efficient on the defensive end and rebounding the basketball. Your offense in going to be predicated on your personnel. We have done several different things through the years offensively that a lot of that is going to be based on the talent that we have and the strengths of that talent.”
“I am kind of a role guy. I want the right guys taking the right shots and working the ball for the best possible shot that we can get – high percentage shots. Typically through the years my teams will run a lot of set plays if we need to manufacture a shot so we do a lot with skill development. We spend a lot of time teaching the kids how to play basketball and not necessarily giving them 100 set plays and saying you go here, you go there.”
“We really put a lot of time and effort in teaching the kids how to play the game of basketball, how to read the defense and not so much freelance but have some basketball IQ and some skillful ability out there on the floor. Have some confidence out there on the floor based on what we’re trying to teach them to do.”
Coach Jones is looking for all Greenville student athletes interested in playing basketball to come out for the program.
“You are going to have kids that didn’t necessarily play in years past that may have wanted to play but didn’t quite get to the point where they thought they may or may not have been able to contribute,” Coach Jones stated. “I am going to seek out those kids that didn’t play or may be on the fence. I am going to have those face-to-face conversations with those kids because if we have athletes at Greenville that can take something from being in a basketball program that is going to help them maybe in football or baseball or whatever other sport – that is the ultimate goal for me – to get these kids involved in our basketball program and be able to take something from our basketball program that is going to allow them or help them to excel in other sports.”
“I have always said that when you have a really good basketball program your other programs feed off of that. As far as Ohio is considered, if you have a really good football program your other programs tend to feed off of that – success breeds success. I have been fortunate enough as an assistant coach through the years and as a head coach to be able to build programs with kids that are multi-talented, multi-sport athletes. I believe with what we do and the program that we are going to put in, it’s going to create a lot of excitement at Greenville.”
There will be a time for parents and athletes interested in playing basketball to meet Coach Jones this Thursday, June 25 at 6 p.m. at the Jennings Center Track and Field Complex located next to the high school. The meeting will be moved inside the high school cafeteria if raining.
“I am looking forward to meeting the kids and the parents,” coach Jones concluded.
Coach Jones and his wife Chelsea are the proud parents of three children, Lynley (6), Damon (5) and Briella (3).
PHOTO CAPTION: New Greenville varsity boys basketball coach, Bobby Jones. (Dale Barger photo)