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Donnie Jones brought Marshall to prominence over three seasons.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Apr. 1, 2010 9 years ago

Jones replaces Speraw

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Two weeks after ousting their winningest coach, the Knights hire a coach who beat them twice in 2010
by: Isaac Babcock Managing Editor

Donnie Jones walked into the job interview with a plan — to revitalize UCF basketball. There were six-month, one-year, and five-year benchmarks. He would pull in top talent and galvanize a fan base. Most importantly, he'd win.

Now two weeks after UCF fired its winningest coach in basketball history, they have Kirk Speraw's replacement in Jones.

"Donnie has a vision for this program that includes attracting top-notch student-athletes and competing for championships," Athletic Director Keith Tribble said.

The former University of Florida assistant coach spent the last season heading up a Marshall men's program that ascended to 24-10 by season's end — the best the Herd had seen in 20 years. That included beating the Knights twice this past season — the final blow coming in a triple overtime thriller in which the Herd outlasted the Knights.

Jones had been with the Herd for just three years, turning around a foundering program with top recruits, whom he pulled in personally to help revitalize the team.

Before that he had served as UF's associate head coach, helping to build a strong recruiting program there.

On Tuesday afternoon the Knights introduced their coach to fans and the media at a press conference at the UCF Arena.

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