Charles Jones

Jones coach Spalding's post players nearly forty years after stellar career at U of L

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Charles Jones patrolled the halls of Spalding University with little to no recognition of his past.

“I never really told people who I was. I never really say much about my past,” Jones said.

After retiring from Louisville Metro Police after 25 years on the force, Jones decided he wanted to get out of the house and get out and about. A couple of years ago, he took a job as a security officer at Spalding. Very few people knew Jones was a former 1,000-point scorer who played in two Final Fours with the Louisville Cardinals in the early 1980s.

One person who did know about Jones past was Spalding’s new women's basketball head coach, Kylee Gorby.  

She recruited Jones, not so subtly, to join her staff to help the post players.

“I came over there one day with some women’s basketball gear and some paperwork and I said, ‘Hey, no pressure at all, but these shirts are yours regardless, and here’s the paperwork,” Gorby said.

Jones was reluctant because he was unsure if he wanted the added responsibility after his day job. But as any good basketball coach will do, Gorby never let up with the recruiting.

“I think ... probably after the 10th or 12th time (she asked), I said, I’ll do it,,” Jones said.

Jones said once he got on the practice floor with the girls, he knew he had made the right choice. The game was quite different, but as a basketball fan even after his playing days, he watched how the game evolved. Now, he’s teaching the Division III post players what he’s learned over the years in Division I.

“The game has changed," Jones said. "It’s not the same game that I played, especially playing at the level I played. I’m not saying this is not a good level. It’s just different. I had been away from it for awhile, so it took a little getting used to being out there. But I enjoy it."

Jones not only teaches the players. He’s become a mentor for Gorby, who is in her first head coaching job.

“(He’s) somebody that can give me guidance and give me new ideas," she said. "I believe the way you get better is you surround yourself with the best."

Spalding junior center Hunter Wright is benefiting from the knowledge of a coach she thought was just a security officer.

“I didn’t really know much about him before he came onto our coaching staff, but once I found out, anything he tells me I’m down to get right because ... he knows what he’s talking about,” Wright said.

Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.