Woodbury girls basketball: Lionel Jones named new head coachLionel Jones has been named the new head girls basketball coach at Woodbury High School.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
Lionel Jones has been named the new head girls basketball coach at Woodbury High School.
Jones most recent coaching stint was at Menomonie High School in Menomonie, Wis., where he led the girls team to their first Big Rivers Conference title in school history, and was named Big Rivers coach of the year in 2010. Jones’ squad finished with the best regular season record in school history (21-1) and the highest Associated Press poll finish (No. 3) the program has attained. He helped the program increase their scoring average by more than 35 points per game and finished fifth in the state of Wisconsin in scoring, first in forced turnovers and first in three-point shots made.
Before taking the reins at Menomonie High School, Jones was an associate head coach of the men’s basketball program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. While there, he helped lead the program to their first NCAA appearance. Jones was also an assistant and head coach at Park Center for the boys basketball program. While there, Park Center had multiple conference championships and a state tournament appearance.
“We plan to play an exciting style of basketball,” Jones said. “There are many good athletes in Woodbury’s program and I am very excited about that. I plan to utilize that attribute to our advantage every possession. I am a high energy guy and every team that I have ever coached has practiced and played at a very high level. Our program this year will not be any different.”
Jones takes over for longtime Woodbury coach Dave Preller. Preller was head girls basketball at Woodbury the last 24 years. His legacy includes one state championship in 2003, a runner-up finish in 1998, a third-place finish in 2004 and a fourth-place finish in 2002, along with 16 conference championships and 10 section championships. He was named the Class AAAA State Coach of the Year this year and in 2001-02 and was elected to the Minnesota Girls Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
This past year, Woodbury finished 20-8 overall, finished second in the Suburban East Conference with a 14-3 record and reached its fourth-straight Section 4AAAA championship game.
“Coach Preller and his staff did an unbelievable job with this program, his resume at Woodbury speaks for itself,” Jones said. “Our goal will be to continue to grow from the standard that has been set, embrace a new style of play and to make the Woodbury community proud of us.”
Jones is originally from Warrensville Heights, Ohio, and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. He is married to Nicole and has a son, Mahlon, and daughter, Aalaycia. Coach Jones’ career coaching record is 131-23.
There will be a meet-and-greet with Jones on Thursday, May 5, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Woodbury High School Lecture Hall.