Brian Jones is a newcomer to the Villanova coaching staff in 2017, although he is no stranger to the program after having been a member of the original Wildcats staff from 1984-87 when Andy Talley started to rebuild the program. Jones will work with the Villanova running backs and will recruit in several local areas, as well as in New York (Sections 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) and nationally in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.
Jones made a name for himself during more than two decades of coaching running backs at the FBS level. He spent 16 seasons at Missouri, where he was in charge of a Tigers running game that produced a 1,000-yard rusher seven times in a 10-year span beginning in 2006. He worked with senior tailback Russell Hansbrough during the 2014 season, when Hansbrough ran for 1,084 yards. Hansbrough also rushed for 685 yards and four scores in 2013, when Missouri ranked 16th among all FBS teams with an average of 237.4 yards per game on the ground.
Henry Josey was one of the top comeback stories in college football during that 2013 campaign, as he gained 1,166 yards with 16 touchdowns and an average of 6.7 yards per carry one year after sitting out with a severe knee injury. Behind Josey were the duo of Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy, who rushed for 601 yards and nine touchdowns. Josey had been a first team all-conference performer in 2011 when he averaged 116.8 yards per contest to lead a Missouri squad which led the Big 12 with 244.0 rushing yards per game.
The other all-conference performers that Jones coached at Missouri are tailbacks Zack Abron, Tony Temple and Derrick Washington. Abron was a three-time all-league selection during his career, garnering second team honors in 2003 after being an honorable mention pick the year prior and a third team selection in 2001. Temple was an honorable mention All-Big 12 pick in both 2006 and 2007, while Washington was a second team honoree in 2008 and merited honorable mention accolades in 2009.
Jones coached under Gary Pinkel at Toledo from 1992-00, then followed Pinkel to Missouri for the 2001 season. During his last two years at Toledo, the Rockets running attack was ranked in the top 10 in the country. Toledo averaged 253.8 rushing yards per game in 2000 to rank ninth in the nation, while the 1999 squad was 10th nationally with 239.2 yards per game in addition to leading the country with an average of 5.35 yards per attempt.
In 1995, Toledo led the MAC and was fifth in the nation with 244.5 rushing yards per game. The team’s starting tailback that season, Wasean Tait, was named the MAC Player of the Year and garnered second team All-America honors after ranking second in the nation in rushing and third in scoring.
Jones began his coaching career as the offensive line coach at RPI from 1983-84, before he came to Villanova as an outside linebackers coach. He also made stops at Massachusetts (1988-91; receivers/outside linebackers) and Lafayette (1991, receivers) before going to Toledo and then on to Missouri. Jones also coached at Central Methodist College in Missouri in 2016.
As a collegiate student-athlete, Jones was an offensive lineman at Connecticut, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing in 1980. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Administration and Physical Education from Norwich (1983).
Jones was born in Jamaica and raised in New York City. He and his wife, Mary Kay, are the parents of sons Grant and Brandon, and daughter Aubrey.