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Nashville, Tn – Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings has announced the hiring of Adam Cohen and Derrick Jones as assistant coaches on his basketball staff.
“I am excited to have Adam Cohen and Derrick Jones join the Commodore basketball family,” said Stallings. “Both are extremely hard workers, great recruiters, and good men, and have very impressive backgrounds. We look forward to these men interacting and mentoring our current players, and helping me find the next generation of Commodore basketball on the recruiting trail. We are thrilled to have them and their families in Nashville.”
Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings hires two new assistant coaches (Mateen Sidiq Nashville Sports Network)
Cohen, from Buffalo, N.Y., spent the 2013-14 season at Harvard, where he helped the Crimson set program records for overall wins (27) and conference victories (13) en route to the team’s fourth consecutive Ivy League title and a third straight appearance in the NCAA tournament. During March Madness, the 12th-seeded Crimson knocked off fifth-seeded Cincinnati in the tournament’s second round, and nearly pulled off an upset of fourth-seeded Michigan State to reach the Sweet 16. Harvard also won the Great Alaska Shootout along the way, and a record six Crimson were named to the All-Ivy League teams, including player of the year Wesley Saunders ’15.
“I am thrilled to be a part of the great community and culture that is Vanderbilt basketball,” said Cohen. “Coach Stallings has built a fantastic program and has established success both on and off the court. His vision truly excites me, and I will strive to carry on that tradition. I also want to thank Tommy Amaker for his guidance and tutelage in my time at Harvard. I look forward to helping Vanderbilt climb to the top of the SEC on a consistent basis. Anchor Down!”
Prior to his arrival at Harvard, Cohen spent a year at Rice University, where he helped mentor Max Guercy, who was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team after garnering five freshman of the week honors. Cohen was also heavily involved in the Owls’ recruiting efforts, helping to secure the next season’s class of incoming freshmen.
Prior to joining the Rice staff, Cohen spent three seasons at Southern Cal where he climbed the ranks from video coordinator to director of basketball operations. During his final season at USC, Cohen was responsible for assisting in scouting preparation, film exchange and breakdown, and oversight of USC basketball camps. He also served as a liaison with the compliance department and worked closely with student-athletes on their academic progress.
Cohen began his coaching career in 2008-09 as a graduate assistant at New Orleans, after receiving his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Arizona in 2008. With the Wildcats, Cohen served as a student manager and assistant video coordinator for three years under Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson. Cohen worked with six future NBA players while with the Wildcats and aided the program to 59 total wins and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Cohen currently serves on the board of director for Rising Coaches Elite, an organization created by collegiate coaches for collegiate coaches that offers collaborative assistance, networking and avenues for career growth. He has also worked numerous summer camps, including Five Star, Arizona, Buffalo and USC. He also ran a camp in Chengdu, China during the summer of 2007 for Nike Basketball.
Cohen attended Williamsville North High School in Buffalo, N.Y., and was a four-year letterwinner in basketball and captained the team as a senior.
Derrick Jones comes to Nashville after spending four seasons at Louisiana Tech, where he helped the Bulldogs to a historic run in his time in Ruston and a record 56 wins in the last two seasons. Louisiana Tech won 27 games in 2012-13 and 29 in 2013-14 and captured two regular season conference championships, the WAC in 2012-13 and Conference USA in 2013-14. The 2012-13 season featured a program record 18-game winning streak, the school’s first AP Top 25 ranking in 28 years and a berth into the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) where the `Dogs advanced to the second round, and in 2013-14, Louisiana Tech was one win away from advancing to the NIT semifinals in New York.
“My family and I are very excited about becoming part of the Vanderbilt family,” said Jones. “This institution’s brand is like no other in the Southeast, both academically and athletically. I am looking forward to representing Commodore Basketball and working for one of the best head coaches in the country in Coach Stallings.”
Jones was primarily responsible for coaching the forwards and centers with the Bulldogs, which included a two-time WAC All-Defensive team member in Michale Kyser.
This solid foundation was laid a year earlier during Jones’ first year on head coach Michael White’s staff in 2011-12 when he worked closely with senior Romario Souza who often times was the only forward on the court. Souza drastically improved his game throughout the year, and would go on to start the last ten games for the Bulldogs, averaging 12.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in those contests.
Souza’s emergence down the stretch helped lead the Bulldogs to wins in five of their last six regular games and an appearance in the program’s first ever WAC Tournament final after upsetting Utah State and Nevada in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
After coming up just 40 minutes short of making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the program’s first time since 1991, the Bulldogs ended with an overall record of 18-16, a six-win improvement from the year before.
During his first year at Louisiana Tech while on Kerry Rupp’s staff, Jones worked closely with the Bulldog post players, including highly-regarded forward Olu Ashaolu who was one of the Western Athletic Conference leaders in double-doubles.
Jones came to Ruston with an impressive resume as he spent two seasons at the University of New Orleans where he was heavily involved in recruiting, player evaluation, academics and on-court preparation for the Privateers. Prior to UNO, Jones spent three years as an assistant coach at Samford, his alma mater, from 2005 through 2008 working for coach Jimmy Tillette, who is the program’s all-time leader in wins with over 200. During his first year with the Bulldogs, Jones helped lead Samford to a 20-win season, including wins over perennial postseason teams in Southern Miss and Murray State.
Jones started his coaching career on the high school level where he served as an assistant coach at John Ehret High School in Marrero, La. from 2003-2005. After a 13-14 finish in his first year at the school, Jones helped coach the team to a 27-3 mark and a No. 2 ranking in Class 5A the following season.
After prepping as a player at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge where he helped lead the team to the 1995 Louisiana Class 5A state title game as a junior, Jones signed with Mississippi State where he started 12 games and led all Bulldog freshmen in scoring. Following his sophomore season in Starkville, he transferred to Samford where he led the program to an NCAA Tournament appearance as a junior. He averaged 13.8 points and earned all-conference accolades his senior season.
Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Samford in 2001.
He and his wife, Tiffany, have two sons, Nico and Max.