Western Illinois men’s basketball head coach Billy Wright announced the hiring of Jestin Anderson and Joshua Jones to his coaching staff. Anderson was most recently an assistant at Quincy University for the past three seasons, while Jones was most recently an assistant at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. for the past two seasons.
Anderson was a part of every aspect of the program, including recruiting, scouting and player development while at Quincy. Prior to his time in Quincy, Anderson spent two seasons (2011-13) as an assistant coach at Pratt (Kan.) Community College and Lake Land College (Ill.) for three seasons (2008-11). In his final season at Lake Land, he helped the Lakers to a 20-13 record and a runner-up finish in NJCAA Region 24. It was the Lakers’ first 20-win season in 10 years.
“I am extremely excited to be joining the Western Illinois staff. Coach Wright has done a great job using his all-in philosophy to build a foundation for success here at WIU. I look forward to building on that success moving forward,” said Anderson.
Anderson began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Quincy when the Hawks advanced to the NCAA Tournament in his first season on staff and were ranked as high as No. 9 in the nation. His playing career consisted of exactly 100 games played in a Quincy Hawks uniform from 2002-06, helping QU to NCAA Tournaments in his final two seasons. The Hawks won the GLVC West in his senior season.
“Jestin brings a strong reputation as a tireless recruiter who is well respected and connected throughout the country. He is an Illinois native who comes highly recommended and has demonstrated the desire and work ethic necessary to be successful in this business,” said Wright. “I’m excited to have him here assisting me and our program.”
The DeKalb, Ill. native graduated from Quincy in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in management and earned his Master’s in Business Administration from QU in 2008.
Jones was a former NCAA Division I standout who helped lead the Blue Tigers to their most successful season in 15 years during the 2015-16 season. Lincoln won 16 games, went 12-2 at home and won its first postseason game since 1987. The Blue Tigers beat three teams who ended up qualifying for the NCAA Division II Central Regional and broke or tied eight single season records.
“I’m excited and humbled to be here at Western Illinois University under coach Wright, I’m a big time believer in coach Wright and his all-in philosophy,” said Jones. “I’m really looking forward to continue building a great program that the community can be proud of.”
One of the winningest players in Eastern Kentucky history, Jones spent the 2013-14 season as a graduate assistant at his alma mater. Jones, who is 19th on EKU’s career scoring list with 1,192 points, started all four years, including all but two games during his final three seasons with the Colonels. As a player, Jones led Eastern Kentucky to 76 victories over four years.
“Josh was very successful as a high school player and had a great career at Eastern Kentucky University as well. He’s been to the NCAA tournament as a player, has worked his way up the college ranks, and will be a tremendous asset to our players’ development on and off the court. He is an “ALL-IN” guy who understands the work ethic needed to be successful in this business,” said Wright.
In his only season as a graduate assistant, Jones helped guide the Colonels to an Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tournament.