DeMatha Catholic High School has named Mike G. Jones III to the faculty and as head of the basketball program. He comes to DeMatha from St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes School in Alexandria, VA, where he has served as coach since 2016. He will start his new position later this spring; he will lead DeMatha’s summer basketball camp.
Coach Jones’ appointment is the result of a nationwide search undertaken this year to fill the position after long-time Coach Mike Jones ’91 (no relation) took an associate coaching position at Virginia Tech in the summer of 2021. Faculty Member Pete Strickland ’75 served as interim coach this year, coaching the team to its 26th Alhambra Championship.
“We are grateful to Pete Strickland for stepping up and leading the team this past year and we are thrilled to welcome Coach Jones to DeMatha. His experience, reputation and ability to find the best in players both as individuals and athletes are very consistent with our DeMatha philosophy of academics and athletics,” said Fr. James R. Day, O.SS.T., DeMatha President.
Coach Jones will be only the third permanent head basketball coach at DeMatha in 66 years, following Morgan Wootten (1956-2002) and Mike Jones ’91 (2002-2021).
Coach Jones is a proven leader with over 31 years of experience in the game of basketball as a player and coach. He has amassed 10 years of coaching experience at the high school, college and NBA levels; six years of experience as a high school head coach; 11 years as a professional basketball player that included playing in the most competitive overseas professional leagues and several NBA summer league stints. In addition, he has been an educator at the Perry Street Prepartory School as well as his current position as teacher, coach and mentor for students at St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes School.
In accepting this position at DeMatha, Coach Jones said:
“I am honored and excited to lead this program. The rich tradition, culture and history of DeMatha makes this an unbelievable opportunity for me and my family.”
Some of the highlights of Coach Jones’ career include:
- An overall record of 110-21 over an 80% winning percentage
- 2019 VA State champions with a record of 27-3
- 2020 VA State runner-up with a record of 30-4
- 2022 VA State runner-up with a record of 20-4
- 2018-19 VISAA Coach of the Year
- 2018-19 Alexandria Coach of the Year
- 2019-20 NBC Washington Coach of the Year
- IAC Champions for three straight years
Coach Jones was selected in a process that began with the job posting in January 2022. A search committee with representatives from different constituencies of the DeMatha community reviewed applications and initiated interviews with top candidates. The committee then forwarded the names of top candidates to Fr. James and to Principal Daniel McMahon ’76, Ph.D. They interviewed the finalists in early April and made the final selection.
The chair of the search committee, David Aldridge ’83, commented about the search committee:
“I am proud of the work done by the search committee over the past several weeks in working through a list of extremely qualified candidates to present finalists to the school leadership. Out committee provided a cross-section of DeMatha’s experiences and views that touched many diverse constituencies: former players and coaches, current administrators and teachers, parents and alums. My sincere thanks to the committee members for their tireless work.”
The members of the search committee who served in a volunteer capacity, included:
- Mr. David Aldridge ’83, chair of the search committee, Editor-in-Chief of The Athletic DC, former longtime reporter for ESPN, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer
- Ms. Candy Cage – Athletic Director, Elizabeth Seton High School
- Mr. Derek Carter ’80 – Athletic Director at Coppin State University, former DeMatha athlete
- Mr. Shaka Dickerson ’03 – Dean of Students, former DeMatha athlete
- Mr. Andrew Eck ’11 – Faculty member and admissions staff member
- Mr. Ed King – Longtime Athletic Director, faculty member and coach
- Mr. Christopher Miller – DeMatha basketball alumnus parent
- Mr. Tommy Paolucci ’97 – Former faculty member, former DeMatha athlete and coach
- Ms. Jennifer Reading – DeMatha Athletic Trainer
- Fr. Josh Warshak, O.SS.T. – Faculty member and campus minister
Part of DeMatha’s philosophy as a school included the following ideals from our Statement of Purpose and Objectives:
A rich co-curricular program provides an opportunity for informal and formal instruction where students witness and understand the sound principles for human rights and the corresponding need for self-discipline. By experiencing healthy competition and sportsmanlike behavior involved in physical education and athletic events, students grow toward physical and social maturity.
DeMatha is excited to have Coach Jones join the existing faculty and staff to foster these ideals in the lives of all our students.