To finish the replenishment of Texas Tech’s coaching staff, Matt Wells brings on another well-seasoned personality in Derek Jones.
Jones comes to Lubbock after a long twelve-year tenure at Duke, and another ten years spent with Memphis, Middle Tennessee, and Murray State. The lengthy experience with Duke easily marks Jones’ credibility as a secondary coach. Before his time with the Blue Devils, the Duke football program hardly garnered ten wins in eight seasons (total). After Jones’ addition to the staff, Duke has enjoyed multiple 8+ win seasons and participated in 6 bowl games for the last 8 years.
Even more pertinent to his title are the players that exemplify the process. Jones mentored a number of defensive backs from Duke to the the NFL, something that hasn’t been remotely done at Duke since 1996. Jones’ tenure at Duke also produced multiple All-America athletes as well as school record holders. His knack at having immediate impacts wherever he goes has been prevalent not only at Duke, but also at Memphis - who relished in a +5 game turnaround after a two-win season.
Above it all Matt Wells stands joyful in the hire, saying that “Coach Jones has long been one of the top defensive backs coaches in the country...He has a knack for getting the most out of his players and pushing them to be their best on and off the field. He is an elite recruiter who will have an immediate impact here in that area.” Recruiting, Wells has made clear, is going to be the foundation of resurgence in West Texas. Jones has likewise expressed gratitude/excitement at the opportunity to coach with Wells again, saying that he “(has) a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Wells, and can’t wait to work alongside him and Coach Patterson again...”
DEREK JONES COACHING EXPERIENCE
2020 – Texas Tech Associate Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator (Secondary)
2018-19 – Duke Associate Head Coach (Defensive Backs)
2015-17 – Duke Assistant Coach (Cornerbacks/Assistant Special Teams Coordinator)
2008-14 – Duke Assistant Coach (Defensive Backs/Assistant Special Teams Coordinator)
2007 – Memphis Assistant Coach (Cornerbacks)
2006 – Tulsa Assistant Coach (Cornerbacks)
2005 – Middle Tennessee State Assistant Coach (Defensive Backs)
2000-04 – Murray State Assistant Coach (Cornerbacks/Recruiting Coordinator)
1999 – Ole Miss Graduate Assistant (Defense)
1998 – Ole Miss Graduate Assistant (Football Operations/Recruiting)
The challenge of moving from an ACC conference that tries to balance its attack to a Big 12 conference that has no shame throwing the ball 90% of the time puts a lot of pressure on Jones. Even worse, the stigma of Texas Tech’s inability to stop teams has no doubt already been on his mind. What remains to be seen is what kind of product the Red Raiders have available for their new secondary coach. Jones won’t get Douglas Coleman or Desmon Smith (graduation), but there is plenty of talent around players like Adrian Frye, Alex Hogan, Adam Beck, Thomas Leggett, and Zech McPhearson. Not to mention the incoming signees Jonathan Davis, Ryan Frank, Nate Floyd, and Kobee Minor.
Could be a bright future for Texas Tech’s secondary.