JUCO NEWS: Pellissippi State names Jones as first-ever Head Men’s Basketball Coach

East Tennessee native Darrian Jones has been named head men’s basketball coach at Pellissippi State, Athletics Director Brock Evans announced Wednesday.

Jones was a standout player at Alcoa High School from 1997-2001, earning 1st Team All-State. He went on to play for two years at Hiwassee College from 2001-2003 in Madisonville, Tennessee and then finished his college career at Ferrum College in Virginia. He led both schools in assists.

Jones began coaching at Hiwassee College in 2007 as an assistant on both the men’s and women’s teams and then became head coach from 2008 until 2011. His 2010 team ranked 6th in the nation and appeared in the USCAA National Tournament. Jones then moved to Walters State as an assistant coach in 2011 where he spent 12 years assisting Coach Bill Carlyle in achieving 1,000 career victories and competing in three NJCAA National Tournaments. During the 2023-24 season, Jones has served as an assistant coach for Tennessee Wesleyan men’s basketball.

Evans said as he looked for the right person to coach men’s basketball at Pellissippi State, it was important to find a strong recruiter who is familiar with East Tennessee.

“Coach Darrian Jones not only fulfills those goals but also brings a decade-plus of NJCAA coaching experience to the table as well as great relationships with area high school coaches,” Evans said. “I have full confidence in Coach Jones’ ability to lead the Pellissippi State men’s basketball team to great heights.”

Some of Jones’ career accomplishments include 34 first- and second-team all-conference student-athletes, five NJCAA All-Americans, a 1000-point scorer, 13 Division I signees, 11 Division II signees, five professional players, and eight NJCAA Academic All-Americans. His record at Walters State as an assistant coach was 221-137.

“Being an Alcoa High School graduate, I love East Tennessee and the people in this area,” Jones said. “I’m excited about making Pellissippi State a great place to play junior college basketball. Accepting this position has been a blessing, and I believe Pellissippi State offers a great opportunity to help young men achieve their dreams.”

Pellissippi State will launch its first season of basketball this fall, with home games in the newly renovated Student Recreation Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. The Panthers will play a full conference schedule in Region 7 of the NJCAA (TCCAA). Recruitment of student-athletes will begin immediately. Interested parties should fill out this form.


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