Wyking Jones (pronounced WHY-king) is in his second season as an assistant basketball coach for the University of Louisville after serving in a similar capacity two seasons at the University of New Mexico. He joined the Cardinals in April 2011.
"Wyking has the experience necessary to help us recruit top-notch student-athletes from all 50 states," said UofL Head Coach Rick Pitino. "He is highly regarded in all circles as a tireless worker and an outstanding communicator with young people. I had asked Richard (Pitino) to provide me the top five assistant coaching candidates in the country and I would interview them. Immediately he had Wyking at the top of the list. After considerable research, it was apparent that he had all of the characteristics necessary to bring to Cardinal Basketball."
"I'm very excited to be joining the Louisville family," said Jones. "I've been a fan of Coach Pitino for as long as I can remember. I've always admired him as a coach and after spending time with him, admire him as a great person."
During Jones' two years at New Mexico under head coach Steve Alford, the Lobos produced a combined 52-18 record. The 2009-10 New Mexico team won a school-record 30 games (30-5 record), won the Mountain West Conference Championship and was ranked eighth in the final AP poll.
Before joining the New Mexico staff, Jones spent two years as a basketball travel team manager with Nike Elite Youth Basketball. There he managed all 45 travel teams and the tournaments that Nike sponsored in its grassroots youth program while he built key relationships across the nation.
Prior to his stint at Nike, Jones worked five seasons (2002-06) as an assistant to head coach Paul Westphal at Pepperdine, where he served as recruiting coordinator before his departure. In his first season there, the Waves were 22-9 and tied Gonzaga for the West Coast Conference regular season title with a 13-1 league mark.
Jones played professional basketball in five different countries between 1995-2001 in Italy, France, Japan, Lebanon and South Korea.
Jones lettered four years at Loyola Marymount for head coach John Olive (1991-95), totaling 1,076 points and 493 rebounds in his career to rank among the school's top 25 all-time scorers. He emerged as a junior through a staunch work ethic and unassuming manner to earn all-West Coast Conference honors as a junior in 1993-94. He was chosen as the Lions' Student-Athlete of the Year that year when he averaged 19.7 points and eight rebounds a game.
Jones' junior season was highlighted by a 39-point, 16-rebound, five-block effort against San Francisco. He scored 20 or more points on 12 occasions with eight double-doubles, including grabbing a career-high 17 rebounds against Oral Roberts. He was an honorable mention all-WCC selection as a senior when he averaged 13.1 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Lions.
Jones earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount in 1995. He served as a Lions' assistant coach during the 1996-97 season.
Jones also has acting experience. He had movie parts in "The Wood," "Brown Sugar" and "The Benchwarmers," and has also appeared in television commercials.
Jones, and his wife, Estrella, have a son, Jameel, and a daughter, Zoe.