Wyking Jones (pronounced WHY-king) (born January 8, 1973) is an American basketball coach, former player and actor who was most recently the head coach of the California Golden Bears men's basketball program.
|Born||January 8, 1973|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1996–1997||Loyola Marymount (assistant)|
|2009–2011||New Mexico (assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
A native of Inglewood, California, Jones attended St. Bernard High School where he played basketball and was recruited by the likes of Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara, but ultimately decided to attend Loyola Marymount, where he was a ball boy in elementary school.
Jones attended Loyola Marymount from 1991-95 under head coach John Olive. A two-time All-West Coast Conference selection, Jones emerged in a starring role his junior and senior seasons going from averaging 3.5 points per game and 2.2 rebounds per game in his first two seasons to 19.7 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game in his junior season and 13.1 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game in his senior year. Jones graduated with a degree in Business Administration and ended his collegiate career with 1,076 points, which is good for 24th all-time, along with 493 rebounds, which also ranks 24th all-time.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Jones played professionally in Italy, France, Lebanon and South Korea from 1995-2001.
Assistant coaching career
Jones got his coaching start at his alma mater for the 1996-97 season. He also served on the staff of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) for three years, where he was the Travel Team Manager for more than 45 youth basketball programs. Jones then landed at Pepperdine as an assistant under Paul Westphal from 2002 to 2006. In 2009, Jones joined the coaching staff of Steve Alford at New Mexico, helping the Lobos to 52 wins in two seasons, including a school record 30-win campaign and a NCAA Tournament berth in 2010 and NIT bid in 2011, while coaching future NBA player Tony Snell.
In 2011, Jones headed to Louisville to work for Rick Pitino, where he was part of the 2013 national championship squad, along with two Final Fours, three Elite Eights, and four Sweet 16 appearances as the Cardinals went 123-30 in the span. Jones coached the likes of Terry Rozier, Montrezl Harrell, and Gorgui Dieng while with the Cardinals.
Jones was hired by Cuonzo Martin at California in 2015, where he was part of a team that made a NCAA and NIT appearance, while also helping the Golden Bears to be the Pac-12's best defensive unit, ranking tops in the league in points per game allowed and field goal percentage allowed in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Jones is also credited for his work with Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and 2016 NBA Draft selection Jaylen Brown, along with two-time All-Pac-12 selection Ivan Rabb.
On March 24, 2019, Jones was let go after posting a 16-47 record in two seasons at Cal.
Off the court, Jones has appeared in movies such as Dope, The Wood and Brown Sugar and has been dubbed one of "College hoops' most interesting people" by ESPN in part due to his unique part-time acting career.
Jones lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his family.
Head coaching record
|California Golden Bears (Pac-12 Conference) (2017–2019)|
|California:||16–47 (.254)||5–31 (.139)|
- SHEPARD, ERIC (1991-04-11). "HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL : After Long Wait, Jones Is Signed by Loyola". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "Catching up with Wyking Jones »". lmulionsroar.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- FERNAS, ROB (1994-01-07). "He's King of the Lions' Court : Although Wyking Jones Continues to Impress With His Improved Play, Loyola Marymount's Losing Streak Is a Source of Frustration". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "LMULIONS.com :: Loyola Marymount Official Athletic Site :: Men's Basketball". www.lmulions.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "Wyking Jones Named Men's Basketball Head Coach". Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- Rusty Simmons (2019-03-24). "Cal reverses field, fires head coach Wyking Jones". SFChronicle.com. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
- "Wyking Jones". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
- "College hoops' most interesting people: California's Wyking Jones". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.