CONCORDIA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College men's basketball program officially welcomed Taylor Jones to the program this week as he was hired as the new Assistant Men's Basketball Coach, effective June 17.
Jones, 29, is a native of Rochester, Illinois and comes to Concordia after spending the 2018-19 season as an assistant at the University of Jamestown, where he helped the Jimmies to a 29-6 overall record, a Great Plains Athletic Conference title, and a Round of 16 appearance in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship.
The move reunites Jones with Cloud County head coach Jordan Altman, who Jones worked alongside with in 2015-16 at Garden City Community College.
"Coach Altman and I have known each other for a while, worked with each other at Garden City, and he's always been a guy I can count on," Jones said. "Cloud County competes in the KJCCC, one of the premiere junior college conferences in the country, and it's a little closer to home for me. All of those things made this job attractive."
Sandwiched between his year at Garden City and year at the University of Jamestown was a two-year stop at the Dakota College at Bottineau from 2016-18. During his two seasons there, the Lumberjacks were 38-24 overall and had three players selected to the All-Region 13 team.
Jones is a former NCAA Division I player at Eastern Illinois University where he graduated in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in Sport Management. He stayed at EIU to earn his master's degree in Sport Administration (2015).
Before fulfilling his Division I dreams, Jones played one season of junior college basketball at Missouri West Plains in 2008-09.
"Taylor played NCAA Division I basketball after going through a junior college experience. He can share that with a lot of the players. The path he went on is the exact path we sell and recruit a lot of kids on," Altman said. "He's a living embodiment of what we're trying to convince a lot of our kids on what we're trying to do for them. He's also experienced here in Kansas, knows the league, knows the level of competition and what it takes to be successful."
Altman added that Jones will be a versatile assistant who can handle day-to-day operation duties and recruiting workload.
Outside of his versatility, Jones said he believes the biggest thing he can add to a Cloud County program coming off a 10-win improvement in 2018-19 is his ability to connect with student-athletes.
"I'd say my biggest strength is being able to connect with the guys individually. I've been a guy who has played a lot and also a guy who hasn't played a lot," Jones said. "I'm going to make great relationships with these guys and I think that's my biggest strength as a college coach."