Cornell Names Jon Jaques As Next Head Basketball Coach

Apr 22, 2024

ITHACA, NY – Jon Jaques ’10, an impactful player and coach on some of the most successful Big Red teams in school history, has been named the Robert E. Gallagher ’44 Head Coach of Cornell Men’s Basketball by Nicki Moore, the Meakem & Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education. Jaques becomes the 23rd head coach in school history and replaces Brian Earl, who resigned in March to accept a similar position at William & Mary.

“I am grateful for the student-athletes, alumni, and staff who participated in the search and interviews,” Moore said. “Collegiate Sports Associates, namely Clay Pfeifler and Craig Littlepage, were excellent partners in helping us run a thorough, professional process – particularly at an extraordinarily demanding time of the year. We have hired a fantastic person and coach who will represent Cornell with excellence.”

CSA is honored to have assisted Moore and the Search Committee on this crucial hoops search.

“Jon’s is an incredible Cornell story – from recruit, to scout team player, team captain and starter on a Sweet 16 team, to alumnus, assistant, and finally associate head coach,” Moore said. “But his narrative isn’t why we make this announcement today. In every conversation we’ve had about this program, it became increasingly clear that Jon’s experiences and preparation have led him to this moment. In a very impressive field of candidates, he set himself apart as the right person at the right time to lead Cornell men’s basketball and I am thrilled to work with Coach Jaques as we, with the support of our alumni, student body, and fans, and alongside our women’s basketball program, aim to build Cornell Basketball.”

“I am incredibly grateful and excited for the opportunity to serve as the Robert E. Gallagher ’44 head men’s basketball coach at Cornell University,” Jaques said. “On and off the court, this community and program have given me many of my most cherished memories, experiences, relationships, and life lessons. I can’t thank Dr. Nicki Moore and the search committee enough for entrusting me with the responsibility of helping our student-athletes create a similar transformative college athletics experience. I’m eager to build on our program’s clear forward momentum and continue to compete in a way that our alumni, students, and supporters can be proud of.”

Jaques has been front and center at two of the most successful eras in program history and many of its greatest moments, first on the court and now commanding the sidelines.

He has worn many hats since returning to East Hill in 2013, serving as assistant coach under both Bill Courtney and Brian Earl before being promoted to Associate Head Coach in 2022. He has been involved in every aspect of the program, including game and practice planning, opponent scouting, alumni relations, recruiting, scheduling, and individual player development.

Since the return from COVID-19 in 2021, the Big Red has established itself as one of the top programs in the Ivy League, going 54-30 overall, and qualifying for the Ivy League Tournament each year. Over that span, Cornell has regularly paced the Ancient Eight and ranked among the national leaders in scoring offense, 3-pointers made and attempted, field goal percentage, effective field goal percentage, assists, assist:turnover ratio, bench points, fastbreak points, and steals.

In his eight years on Coach Brian Earl’s staff, Jaques assisted in making the offense more efficient, lowering opponent scoring average, and cutting down on Big Red turnovers – all the things that allow teams to win in the Ivy League. Cornell’s improvement in year two culminated in a spot in the Ivy League Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time in program history, as well as a four-game improvement in the win column (two-game improvement in Ivy play). With 15 wins and its first .500 conference season in nine years in 2019, the Big Red earned a spot in the CBI Postseason Tournament. The Big Red returned to the Ivy Tournament in 2021-22 with a 15-11 overall record, again in 2022-23 with a 17-11 mark, and for a fourth time in 2024, its fifth time in eight seasons finishing in the top half of the conference standings.

This past season was the greatest since Jaques and his teammates graced the court more than a decade ago. The Big Red went 22-8 (the second-most wins in a season in school history), finishing second in the final Ivy League standings and earning the program’s first-ever bid to the NIT. Cornell posted a school record for assists (544) and the highest assist:turnover ratio (1.486) in a season and ranked in the top three in school history in 3-pointers made (second, 310), steals (second, 250) and scoring average (third, 82.1). It also continued its home dominance with a 10-1 record, upping its total to 31-4 at Newman Arena over the past three seasons.

Jaques previously spent three seasons on head coach Bill Courtney’s staff as an assistant coach. Cornell had its first consecutive .500 non-league seasons since 2010 during that span with three players (Nolan Cressler, Shonn Miller, Matt Morgan) earning All-Ivy League honors. He also played a key role in Cornell posting one of the nation’s biggest turnarounds, winning 11 more games in 2014-15 than the previous year while ranking among the nation’s top 20 in defensive field goal percentage. Cornell has had three 1,000-point scorers suit up during that time.

Jaques returned to Cornell following one year on Morningside Heights as part of Kyle Smith’s 2012-13 staff for a Columbia team that defeated a pair of NCAA tournament teams (Villanova and Harvard). The Lions went 8-6 in non-league play and developed a young core of players that would win 25 games and the 2016 Postseason Tournament as seniors in 2015-16. Joining Jaques on staff with Smith, now the head coach at Stanford, was current Florida head coach Todd Golden and his associate head coach Carlin Hartman, as well as UC Riverside head coach Mike Magpayo. He began his coaching career the previous season at Stevens Institute of Technology under head coach Bobby Hurley and was part of a staff that led the team to a 20-8 record and a spot in the ECAC semifinals.

Jaques was a four-year member of the Big Red basketball team and a senior captain, emerging as a starter in his final season and developing into one of the nation’s most improved players after playing a total of 108 minutes and scoring 33 points through his first three years. Jaques and his teammates won an Ivy League record 29 games and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, defeating nationally ranked opponents Temple and Wisconsin before falling to overall No. 1 seed Kentucky in the regional semifinals. In his four seasons on the team, Cornell went 88-33, including 47-9 in Ivy League play, and won three outright Ivy League titles.

After graduating from Cornell with a degree in Biology and Society in 2010, Jaques spent one season playing professionally with Ironi Ashkelon in the Israeli Premier League.

Jaques is married to Jasmine Marcus ’10 and the couple reside in Ithaca with their daughter, Carina, and son, Micah.

For the full release from Cornell Athletics, click HERE.

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