Jon Jaques tabbed next Cornell men’s basketball head coach

Jon Jaques (Cornell Athletics)

Cornell men’s basketball didn’t have to go far to find its next head coach.

Less than two weeks after Brian Earl announced he’d take the William & Mary job, Cornell promoted Jon Jaques as its new leader. A member of the coaching staff since 2013, Jaques served time under predecessors Earl and Bill Courtney, coaching in three different systems.

But Jaques’ Big Red roots trace deeper back. A valuable member of Cornell’s 2010 Sweet 16 team, he averaged 6.7 points as a starter after playing just 108 minutes over his first three seasons. He moonlighted as a basketball blogger for the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and┬áSlam Magazine. Jaques spent a year coaching under Bobby Hurley at Stevens Insititute of Technology and for Kyle Smith at Columbia before coming back to Cornell in 2013. Cornell promoted him to associate head coach in 2022.

This move made a ton of sense. Surely Cornell considered all of its options in a national search, but hiring Jaques full-time was the popular choice. He’s been a crucial part of Cornell’s 54-30 record in three seasons since the pandemic and helped lead the Big Red to their first NIT bid a few weeks ago.

Cornell brings crucial parts of the 2023-24 team back next year, and that’s important for continuity. Rising senior Nazir Williams is already an early candidate for Ivy League Player of the Year, while AK Okereke, Cooper Noard, Guy Ragland Jr., Jacob Beccles and Jake Fiegen all return. With the roster they have, the Big Red should already be in the mix toward the top of the league.

The biggest question is what Jaques’ style will be. Will he mock Earl’s extremely uptempo Princeton offense, or will he slow things down? Will he even run the full Princeton offense? What aspects of Courtney’s defense-oriented mindset will he incorporate?

He’ll have some time to figure that out. But he’ll almost certainly need to make a coaching hire with just two other assistants rostered with the team. Plus, recruiting is in full force. Will he use the portal at all or target solely freshmen?

We’ll see if the results can back it up, but as of now, it’s a home run hire under athletic director Nicki Moore. Cornell gets a homegrown guy who’s poured his heart and soul into the program.

1 thought on “Jon Jaques tabbed next Cornell men’s basketball head coach”

  1. When Cornell hired Dan Swanstrom as football coach in December, the university published video of the introductory news conference. It was a good opportunity to hear from the new head coach. And the athletic director, Nicki Moore, who made the hire.

    I hope Cornell will circulate a similar video for Jon Jaques.

Comments are closed.