Monday, February 17, 2014

UConn's running backs coach Ernest Jones resigns

The saga of Ernest Jones, hired to be the running backs coach and be at the forefront of the football team's player engagement program,came to a surprising conclusion with the news that he has resigned his position effective immediately.

Here is a statement from UConn

University of Connecticut assistant football coach Ernest T. Jones has resigned his position at UConn effective immediately. The University or the Division of Athletics will have no further comment on the matter as it is personnel related.

Jones has been in the spotlight since he stated in an interview with the Hartford Courant that "players understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle." However, it is uncertain whether the backlash from those comments resulted in his resignation.

The comments created an uproar and led to UConn president Susan Herbst releasing the following statement.

"At public universities we value everyone in our community, and treat each person with the same degree of respect, regardless of who they are, what their background is, or what their beliefs may be. Every student, including student-athletes, must know they are accepted and welcomed at UConn. Always.Our staff should educate and guide students, to ensure they are well-prepared for life at UConn and beyond. But it should go without saying that our employees cannot appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work at the university, or in their interactions with our students. This applies to work-related activity anywhere on or off campus, including on the football field. Our Athletic Director and Coach Diaco agree wholeheartedly with me, and have made this clear to their staff.”

UConn football coach Bob Diaco, who worked with Jones at Notre Dame, told the Courant that he was surprised by Jones' decision saying "it is entirely family and personally related.”

Diaco now is in the midst of hiring a new assistant to coach the running backs. UConn does return an experienced group of tailbacks led by Lyle McCombs and Max DeLorenzo.

It is not known whether the new running backs coach will be given the player engagement role in addition to the assistant coach responsibilities.

Jones also was given Fairfield County as one of his recruiting areas and he played a pivotal role in securing the commitment from St. Joseph OT Steve Hashemi. Considering that Fairfield County is one of the top areas for developing Division I talent in the state, getting somebody who can continue to open up the lines of communication to Fairfield County coaches (something Jones was doing exceptionally well) should be a top priority.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home