Missouri State women’s basketball coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton announced the hire of Crayton (CJ) Jones as assistant coach for the Lady Bears on Friday. He will serve as recruiting coordinator on Coach Mox’s staff.
“My family and I are excited for the opportunity to join the Lady Bear family!” Jones said. “Coach Mox is an amazing coach but an even better person. I look forward to working side by side with her while continuing to add to the rich history of success at Missouri State University. I welcome the opportunity to grow and develop under her leadership. Under her guidance I have no doubt that we will continue to strive for excellence!”
Jones spent six seasons at two American Athletic Conference schools prior to coming to Springfield, the last four at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he played a key role in recruiting – including two-time first-team all-AAC selection and Cheryl Miller Award finalist Mia Davis – scheduling, camps and player development and helped the Owls to a No. 7 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Before his stint at Temple, Jones assisted East Carolina to 35 wins in two seasons and a WNIT second round appearance in 2015, and was an assistant men’s coach at his alma mater, Francis Marion University, for five seasons from 2009-14. While at the NCAA Division II institution, Jones was pivotal in developing recruiting strategies, individual workouts, academic support and summer camps. The Patriots posted a 73-63 record during his tenure.
Jones also served as a team assistant for three years with the Detroit Pistons and one year with the Miami Heat at the NBA Summer League between 2009 and 2013. His duties included facilitating on-court drills and providing support to the head coaches and players during games.
As a player, Jones was a member of Francis Marion’s basketball team from 2007-09, where he started 47 games during his two seasons. As a senior, he shot 57.6 percent from the field and ranked second in assists and sixth in steals in the Peach Belt Conference. He played his first two years at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., where he averaged 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game in 2006-07 and earned first team all-conference recognition and was all-region honorable mention.
A native of Las Vegas, Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Francis Marion in 2010. He and his wife, Leeza, have three sons, Crayton “Cinco”, Cayson, and Cai.
His hire is contingent upon final approval by the Missouri State Board of Governors at its next scheduled meeting. He fills the position vacated by Seth Minter, and begins his duties July 1.
Coach Mox on Jones:
“I am ecstatic about the addition of CJ Jones! Not only is he a grinder with tremendous experience, he is most importantly a loyal, genuine, caring, husband and father who will be an appreciable mentor to our players! He has experience on the women’s and men’s side ranging from collegiate basketball to the NBA. He is a go-getter who has excellent recruiting ties and knowledge which will help him excel as our recruiting coordinator! He also will be in charge of our post player development which he has done at the highest level, in the NBA! He has a good opponent scouting mind as well. I am thrilled to welcome him and am certain he will impact our program in numerous ways.”