GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro men’s basketball coach Mike Dement announced a reshuffling of his coaching staff today, including the resignation of associate head coach Anthony Jones and the elevation of Rod Jensen to that position.
Jones has resigned to pursue professional options outside of coaching, thus making way for the promotion of Jensen to associate head coach. In addition, Brooks Lee will be promoted on the staff. Lee will move up to the second assistant coach’s slot and Kevin Easley has been hired to move into the third assistant’s position.
Dement also confirmed that administrative assistant Doug Esleeck has resigned to take an assistant coach’s position at Gardner-Webb University. A search is underway to fill that vacancy.
Jensen, 52, came to UNCG with Dement in April 2005. A former head coach at Boise State where he went head-to-head with Dement, he will enter his 26th season of coaching on the college level next season. Jensen has also served as an assistant at Virginia, Penn State and Boise State. Six times during his tenure as an assistant and head coach at Boise State, Jensen’s teams ranked in the Top 25 in the country in scoring defense, including four years in the Top 15.
Lee, 27, also came to UNCG when Dement was hired. The son of long-time college coach Billy Lee, Brooks will move up from the third assistant coach’s position. Prior to coming to UNCG, Lee spent one season at Wofford and one season at East Carolina. He also played for two seasons at High Point before transferring to Campbell to play his final two years under his father.
“Rod and Brooks have brought a great deal our program this first year back at UNCG,” said Dement. “Rod is an outstanding coach and has done a great job with our young men through their individual instruction. We are very fortunate to have someone with his experience on our staff. Brooks has done a great job out on the recruiting trail and has a bright future in this business. They are both very deserving of their promotions.”
Easley served the last two seasons on the staff at Tennessee-Martin. He served on Bret Campbell’s staff at UTM after playing for Campbell when he was an assistant at Austin Peay. Easley played at Austin Peay from 1997-2001 and was voted the team’s Most Improved Player in the 1998-99 season. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from APSU and also recently completed work on his master’s degree in education at UTM.
Easley, 27, played his high school ball at Trenton Peabody School in Trenton, TN, leading his team to a 26-1 mark in 1996-97. That year, he was a finalist for Tennessee’s Class A Mr. Basketball.
“I look forward to working with Kevin,” Dement commented. “He has a strong background, having played at Austin Peay under longtime coach Dave Loos, and is off to a great start in his coaching career.
“Certainly, continuity is important within a coaching staff,” said Dement. “As a head coach, you never want to lose your assistant coaches. However, I appreciate A.J.’s commitment to family and want to wish him the best in his new endeavors. I also believe that Doug Esleeck has a bright future in this profession. He did a great job for us last season and is on the natural progression to become a head coach someday.”
Jones, 47, has spent the last four seasons at UNCG, the first three under Fran McCaffery and last year under Dement. This past season was his 25th as a basketball coach, including 24 on the college level. Recently, however, he decided to enter into a family business back in the Chicago area where much of their family resides. It is also a decision that will allow him to spend more time with his wife, Nikki and their six children.
Before joining McCaffery’s staff at UNCG in the Fall of 2002, Jones was most recently the head coach at Division II Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. He held that position for seven seasons. In 1999-2000, Jones led Slippery Rock to the championship game of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference playoffs and a 17-12 overall mark. The 1999-2000 season marked The Rock’s first trip to the PSAC playoffs in 10 seasons, its first winning season in nearly a decade, and just its sixth title-game berth since 1944-45. He was named the 1999-2000 PSAC Western Division "Coach of the Year" by his peers.
Prior to taking the head coaching position at Slippery Rock, Jones served 13 seasons as a Division I assistant coach. He spent six years as an assistant coach at Western Michigan. He also worked seven seasons at his alma mater, Illinois State, and one year at national power Westinghouse High School in his hometown of Chicago. Jones helped Illinois State to NCAA Tournament appearances in 1983 and 1985 and an NIT berth in 1987. He also helped Western Michigan to a 21-9 record and an NIT bid in 1992.
Esleeck, 24, is a native of Winston-Salem, NC and graduate of North Carolina. At UNCG, Esleeck coordinated team travel, practice schedules and film exchange. He resigned earlier this month to become the third assistant at Gardner-Webb.
UNC GREENSBORO: Named Kevin Easley assistant men’s basketball coach. Announced the resignation of associate head coach Anthony Jones. Promoted Rod Jensen to men’s basketball associate head coach and Brooks Lee to full-time assistant men’s basketball coach.
- UNCG -