MSU removes‘interim' tag from Jones


BOZEMAN, Mont. - After spending the whole season as the interim head volleyball coach at Montana State University, Daniel Jones has been hired as the official head coach of the Bobcats. MSU Director of Athletics Leon Costello made the announcement on Wednesday.

"(The interim job) was an opportunity for Daniel, but I also think it was an opportunity for us as an athletic department," Costello said. "The program took a big step forward this year, and I'm excited for the future of Bobcat volleyball."

"It's a big day," Jones said. "It's been a long time coming. I've been on an eight-month job interview, so there's some emotion."

Jones was an assistant coach at Montana State for two seasons before taking over on an interim basis for former head coach JJ Riley, who resigned in May due to family reasons.

"He's a very dear personal friend, and without him, I would not have had this opportunity that we do have now," Jones said.

Under Jones, the Cats doubled their win total from a year ago while sweeping the rival Montana Grizzlies and defeating North Dakota, the two-time reigning Big Sky Conference Champion, on the road.

The team was also in the hunt for a Big Sky Conference Tournament berth heading into the final week of play.

"I love (the players) dearly, and I'm so grateful for their support," Jones said. "Without them, obviously, I wouldn't have a job. But also, without them, we wouldn't have the success that we have had. Their ability to adapt, to work hard, to grind, to begin to make this program what we all want it to be, has stood out to me from the very beginning."

Jones, a native of New Zealand, becomes the 11th head coach in program history.