Battling prostate cancer, Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones gets emotional after Monarchs earn NCAA Tournament bid
Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones led his Monarchs to an NCAA Tournament berth on Saturday as they defeated Western Kentucky in the Conference USA championship game, and all he could do was stuff his face in a towel on the sideline as confetti fell and emotion overcame him.
Jones, in his sixth year at Old Dominion, is headed to the NCAAs for the first time since took the helm for the Monarchs. That’s enough reason to be emotional. Here’s more: he announced last fall he is battling prostate cancer.
Jones and ODU were the top-seeded team in the C-USA Tournament, but arguably less talented than Western Kentucky, a team that features big man Charles Bassey, a potential first-rounder in the NBA Draft this summer. But the Monarchs were able to top WKU 62-56, a third win over the Hilltoppers this season.
Jones and Old Dominion certainly won’t be a trendy Final Four pick — they had just one win over a ranked opponent all season — but he and his squad are the best feel-good story of the weekend.