QUINCY -- Mark Jones' mix of experience and success as a collegiate volleyball coach made Marty Bell's decision rather easy.
Bell, the Quincy University vice president of intercollegiate athletics, announced Monday he had hired Jones, the former head coach at Manhattan College, to be the Hawks' next head women's volleyball coach. Jones replaces Abigail Moser, who resigned in February to join the staff at St. Leo.
"There's a lot there to be successful," Jones said. "With volleyball in the Midwest, there are club programs that compete at such a high level that I know we can have success. It kind of has everything I was looking for in a program."
Jones spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana State University where he helped the Sycamores win a Missouri Valley Conference Tournament match for the first time in program history.
Prior to that, he spent eight seasons as the women's coach at Manhattan, an NCAA Division I program located in New York City. He led the Jaspers to four 20-win seasons and five appearances in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament.
"I came to Indiana State for a great opportunity and worked with a really great coach," Jones said. "I learned a lot here. Even though I've been a head coach, I'm always looking forward to growing somewhere and learning a lot. Everything kind of fell in place and there's a great opportunity at Quincy to do that."
A graduate of Washington State who started his coaching career as an assistant with the Cougars, Jones got his first taste of the Midwest as the head men's and women's volleyball coach at William Woods University in Fulton, Mo. He led the men's program to a 31-4 record and the NAIA national championship in 2002.
He's still the same coach fundamentally today, albeit with some changes that come with experience and maturity.
"I expect my players to be very disciplined," Jones said. "I want to be a teacher of the game every single day and give our players? the opportunity to get better. I want success. I hate to lose. I don't think I'm a sore loser, but I hate to lose. With my experience, I'm confident we can do something great there."
Jones' hire is a departure from QU's trend of giving young coaches the opportunity to run their own program, but his depth of knowledge was too impressive to ignore.
"He has a wealth of successful experience which will bring stability and create a solid foundation for the immediate and long-term success of our program," Bell said. "Our women's volleyball team has made steady progress and improvement over the past few years, and I believe Coach Jones has the leadership experience we need at this time to move the program to a championship level."