DENTON (4/26/07) University of North Texas Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal and head basketball coach Johnny Jones have agreed in principle to a contract extension that will keep Jones with the Mean Green through the 2012 season.
"Coach Jones has done a tremendous job of establishing the North Texas men’s basketball program to a place of prominence in the Sun Belt Conference in addition to national recognition" said Villarreal. "The appearance in the NCAA tournament this year is just the precursor to the success that this program can attain under his leadership. I am confident in his ability to take this program to new heights and excited about the prospects of him building on the foundation that he set into place for Mean Green basketball."
After six seasons at the helm, Jones already ranks third all-time in North Texas coaching victories with 86. He led North Texas to a school-record 23 wins while claiming the team’s first Sun Belt Conference title and second trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2007.
Jones ranks second in winning percentage among North Texas coaches with at least 150 games, and his 24 wins at the Super Pit over the last two years are the most since 1976-78. With its trip to the NCAA Tournament, North Texas joined Western Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette and South Alabama as the only schools to win a Sun Belt Conference crown since Jones’ arrival in Denton in 2001.
"My family and I are extremely excited about the commitment from the University of North Texas and the confidence it has shown in the basketball program and the direction it is going," Jones said. "This will allow us to continue moving forward and building on the success that we have shown the last few years."
Final approval of the contract is subject to UNT System Board of Regents ratification. The board is scheduled to meet in May.