Yale all-time moment No. 6: James Jones takes over as head coach

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Yale is next by request of Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears:

Yale had suffered seven straight losing seasons, including a 4-22 finish in 1998-99, when it hired James Jones as its head coach on April 27, 1999. Things got better quickly.

Jones, a former Yale assistant coach (1995-97), led the Elis to a share of the Ivy title in 2002, though Penn would trump Yale in the league playoff game for a NCAA Tournament berth.

Yale has finished in the top half of the conference every season without fail since 2000. True, no NCAA Tournament appearances in that span (though a share of the title this season brought Yale as close as it could possibly get without getting over that hump), but still incredible consistency for a program that lacked it for decades before his arrival.

1 thought on “Yale all-time moment No. 6: James Jones takes over as head coach”

  1. I’ve always been one who believes I’d rather make it close to a championship and lose than not get close. Those who find heart-breaking losses worse than not being close in the first place are not my cup of tea.

    But Yale’s loss this year is the counterargument. Not just a heart-breaking loss. Dramatic endings occur all the time in sports. The loss at Dartmouth was a different order of magnitude. Not just a complete collapse in composure but the shocking mental error of Justin Sears. That was unprecedented. For a league which likes to think of itself as being smart, that was the single biggest mental mistake in the history of Ivy sports.

    I don’t know how you come back after that.

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