LSU has officially let go men’s basketball head coach Johnny Jones.
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The announcement was made during a press conference Friday morning.
“It just didn’t work out,” said LSU Director of Athletics Joe Alleva. “It’s not that he’s a good guy or a bad guy, it just didn’t work out.”
It's been and honor to serve the LSU community for 22yrs!— Johnny Jones (@LSUCoachJones) March 10, 2017
Thanks to my family all the players, coaches and incredible fans!#GEAUXTIGERS!
The decision comes after a school-record 15-game losing streak this season. The team finished with a 10-21 record following a 79-52 loss to Mississippi State in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Nashville on Wednesday night. LSU dropped 17 of its last 18 contests, going 2-16 in SEC play.
In five years as LSU’s head coach, Jones became the school’s fourth winningest coach in leading the Tigers to a 90-72 overall record.
This was the first losing season for Jones, who coached LSU to one NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015. However, Jones' coaching has been under increasing scrutiny since last season, when LSU missed the NCAA Tournament despite the presence of eventual first-overall NBA draft choice Ben Simmons on the roster.
A national search for Jones’ replacement will begin immediately, but a decision on a new head coach will likely come after the NCAA Tournament is completed in early April.
“This will be a national search,” said Alleva. “We are going after a proven winner and we’re going to use all the expertise and experience we can to find the right person for this job.”
Jones played his prep ball at DeRidder High School where he led the team to a combined 83-26 record. He was named the state MVP in Class 4A and a prep All-America his senior season, averaging 28.3 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
As a player at LSU, Jones started 54 games and played on the 1981 NCAA Final Four team. He led the team in assists (124) as a junior and was ranked among the top five in the SEC that year. He is one of 30 players in the history of the program with 200 assists or more (271).
'The Bullet' finished with 136 career steals making him one of 24 Tigers that have recorded 100 career steals.
Jones started his coaching career under Dale Brown as a Student Assistant in 1984. Other stops included Memphis and Alabama before earning his first head coaching job at North Texas.
Jones led the Mean Green from 2001-2012, compiling a 190-146 record, before being named LSU's head coach in 2012.
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