Source: Jones takes Central Florida job

Marshall coach Donnie Jones, according to a source also in the mix

for the position, is leaving for Central Florida.

Jones led the Thundering Herd to a 24-9 mark this past season

and an 11-5 record in Conference USA — his third season

at the helm.

On the surface, it may seem like an odd move within

Conference USA. However, Central Florida — located in

Orlando — is thought to be a sleeping giant in the

league.

They have a $107 million arena that seats nearly 10,000 and

also recently inked a five-year Nike deal due to relationship

between the shoe company and Michael Jordan, whose son, Marcus,

just finished his freshman season at the school.

According to sources, Central Florida athletic director Keith

Tribble interviewed 10 Division I head coaches and a half-dozen or

so high-level assistants. The job, according to multiple coaches,

was attractive due to the school’s commitment to the

basketball program.

Coaches also said that Tribble mentioned that the Knights are

interested in trying to move to the Big East.

Jones, 43, is a West Virginia native who spent six years at

Marshall as an assistant, then was with Billy Donovan for 11 years

at Florida, and was key in the Gators’ back-to-back national

championship run in 2006 and 2007.

Jones will take over for Kirk Speraw, who was 279-233 in 17

years with the Knights.