Casey Jones is coming back to Clarkson University to become the new men's hockey coach.
Jones, who was an assistant under Mark Morris from 1993-95, will leave his position as Cornell's associate head coach to take over the Golden Knights, becoming the 10th head coach in the program's history.
“It's been one of those situations where you want to be somewhere where you can be successful and around good people,” Jones said. “It's a dream come true and I'm excited to be a part of the program.”
Jones, who graduated from Cornell in 1990, has spent most of his coaching career at Ohio State, where he worked for 13 years after leaving Clarkson in 1995. He spent the past three years at Cornell.
“I think I'm a people person,” Jones said. “You build relationships and all that and anywhere you leave, it's tough. It was tough leaving Ohio State (too). That's a part of the reason I like this job. I like mentoring young guys and being a part of helping them grow up. (Cornell) treated me great and welcomed me back.”
Jones is replacing a former coworker at Clarkson in George Roll, who was on the staff with Jones and was Clarkson's head coach the past eight years. Roll and associate head coach Greg Drechsel were fired on April 18.
“I have a lot of respect for George,” Jones said. “He's a good friend of mine and it seems to be a good nucleus of guys there. I feel pretty comfortable coming in. You want to see what makes them tick and what excites them and what ways I can motivate them .”
Being in the conference the past three years gave Jones a chance to return once a year to Potsdam. He had also been back a handful of times for nonconference games with Ohio State.
“There were a lot of familiar faces there, which was exciting,” Jones said. “For the most part it's a community where the program is very important. That's something that I think is really a driving point home of a program, when people are that excited about it. It's only a plus.”
The other finalist for the position was another former Clarkson assistant, Ron Rolston, who worked at the school from 1996-99. Rolston, who coaches the U.S. Under-18 team, also had applied for the head coaching jobs at Princeton and UMass.-Lowell.
Jones, a native of Temiscaming, Quebec, which is near Ottawa, will be formally welcomed by the school at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Cheel Arena.
“Jones brings a high energy-style to the Golden Knights that matches the enthusiasm of Clarkson fans and our commitment to great hockey in the north country,” Clarkson athletic director Steve Yianoukos said in a statement. “Jones is known for his deep understanding and grasp of the game that motivates and challenges player. We look forward to the Jones' era for the Golden Knights.”