Illinois Athletics Press Release
July 18, 2023
Kwa Jones courtesy of Illinois Athletics
CHAMPAIGN, Ill.– Illinois head coach Brad Underwood announced Tuesday the hiring of Kwa Jones as director of recruiting and scouting.
A former graduate manager for the Fighting Illini, Jones returns to Champaign after two years of continued growth in the coaching profession. He spent the recent 2022-23 season as director of operations at Stephen F. Austin, with many duties including travel, meals, team scheduling and planning recruiting visits.
That followed serving as a video coaching associate in 2021-22 with the Sacramento Kings, where he specialized in film and assisted with player development.
Jones spent two years on Underwood's staff as graduate manager during the successful 2020 and 2021 seasons. Illinois went a combined 29-11 in conference play during his tenure, earning a final AP ranking of No. 21 in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 campaign and leading the Big Ten in wins while adding the Big Ten Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed in 2021.
"We are thrilled to welcome Kwa back to the Illinois Basketball family" Underwood said. "He is a relationship-driven coach who makes impactful connections with players in every program he has been a part of, and his passion and love for the game of basketball is contagious. Kwa has added to his portfolio since he was last here, with great experiences with the Kings and at SFA. He has earned this opportunity and will be a great asset to us in scouting and recruiting."
Jones is a native of Nacogdoches, Texas. He is a 2019 graduate of the University of Houston, with a bachelor's degree in sports administration. While at Houston, he was an on-court student manager for the Cougars. Jones earned his master's degree in recreation, sport, and tourism from the University of Illinois in 2021.