Courtesy of Cornell Athletics

April 16, 2024

Jon Jaques ’10 Officially Introduced as New Head Coach of Men’s Basketball

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In a press conference on Friday afternoon at Newman Arena, Jon Jaques ’10 was introduced as the new head coach of men’s basketball. 

Jaques, who was a team captain on Cornell’s 2009-10 Sweet Sixteen team, first worked as a graduate assistant coach for Stevens Institute of Technology and Columbia University for two years. Jaques returned to his alma mater in 2013, holding roles as an assistant coach and associate head coach over his tenure. 

“It’s not going to be so earth-shattering and different than it has been,” Jaques said in the press conference. “No one will play harder than us on the court. … Special things happen here, and we have all worked really hard to build this [program] where it is.”

The introduction comes following the resignation of former head coach Brian Earl, who led the team for eight years, including a 2023-24 season that marked Cornell’s best season since its NCAA tournament Sweet Sixteen run in 2009-10.

“As an associate head coach, you always have the thought [about being head coach] in the back of your mind,” Jaques said. “You go through seasons and wonder how you would run your own program. After the news of [Earl] leaving, we obviously had to pivot, but it wasn’t totally sudden, as I had been thinking about [the situation] if the moment came.” 

According to Director of Athletics Nicki Moore, 52 candidates were evaluated by a search committee which included current and former players, as well as Cornell athletics alumni. 

“I think the first conversation that Jon and I had when we knew we would have a basketball [coach] search was, ‘there is no one that cares more about Cornell basketball than I do,’” Moore said.

As for the identity of the team, Jaques hopes to continue to foster special bonds between his players, emphasizing effort and resilience.

“[I want our team] to be a group that plays without question for each other. I think if you’d asked people in the last few years, that was part of what I want to continue — just incredibly unselfish, hard-playing people,” Jaques said.

As a former student athlete at Cornell, Jaques believes his understanding of balancing athletics and academics allows him to better relate to his players’ lives on and off the court.

After a highly successful season in which the Red saw themselves in the Ivy Madness Tournament, Jaques will work to sustain the success of the team. 

“No matter how we play going forward, if it’s exactly how we played or some combination of a few different things, you have players that have won a little bit in Division I basketball,” Jaques said. “Now we have some people who are competitive and used to success, and then obviously you have to keep recruiting good fits — guys who play extremely hard, are unselfish people and care about people outside of themselves.”

With the departures of Earl and assistant coach Max Ginsburg ’18, who will join Earl at William and Mary, Jaques will work to form his coaching staff over the next few weeks and gear up for a highly anticipated 2024-25 season.