Ex-FAU, Ole Miss DBs coach Jones completes staff

Indiana will add Jason Jones as safeties coach, filling the last open position on Tom Allen’s staff.

With the hire of Jones, Kasey Teegardin will move to special teams coordinator, according to a source. Teegardin, who has coached IU’s safeties since 2018, will replace William Inge, who is reportedly heading to Fresno State as Kalen DeBoer’s defensive coordinator.

Jones spent 2019 at Florida Atlantic but spent the previous five seasons at Ole Miss as a defensive backs coach and co-defensive coordinator. There, he overlapped with Allen, who was the Rebels’ linebackers coach and special teams coordinator from 2012-14.

Jones has been a part of several successful programs, dating back to his playing days at Alabama in the late 1990s. He was then a grad assistant for the Crimson Tide before moving on to Tulsa, Rice, Oklahoma State and then Ole Miss. He was part of Lane Kiffin’s staff at Florida Atlantic for one season, but Kiffin just became the head coach at Ole Miss.

In his first 13 seasons as a college coach, Jones was a part of 12 bowl squads. He’s had the chance to mentor some notable athletes, including former high school quarterback Justin Gilbert at Oklahoma State, who became the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft as a cornerback.  At Ole Miss, cornerback Senquez Golson was one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award for college football’s top defensive player.

He will have a chance to mold some young talent with the Hoosiers, who have rising juniors Devon Matthews, Bryant Fitzgerald, and Juwan Burgess in the safeties room.

This has been an active offseason for Allen as far as his staff. With offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer headed to Fresno State as head coach, the promotion of tight ends coach Nick Sheridan created another opening. Allen has, according to a source, reeled in high school head coach Kevin Wright, formerly of Warren Central, Carmel, and IMG (Fla.), to coach tight ends. 

A similar cascade has followed on the defensive side of the ball with the exit of Inge, moving Teegardin to special teams and Jones into the safeties coach role. Aside from Sheridan’s promotion, these hires have yet to be officially announced by the program.

15 comments

  1. Coach Allen continues to show he will hire good coaches to improve IUFB and I think these hires will do just that. Hopefully, 2020 season will be even better than the 2019 season but you never know what injuries will impact teams or IU. We will have to wait and see how the changes work out for 2020 but it could really enthuse the players to play even harder and better.

  2. Jason Jones looks like a good hire and he’s been around success, but does this job make sense for him? I mean, it’s better than not having a job, but from a career standpoint, it looks like he’s going backward. He spent “five seasons at Ole Miss as a defensive backs coach and co-defensive coordinator” and now he’s just coaching IU’s safeties. I hope he’s a great recruiter and that we can keep him for at least three seasons.

    1. Po,
      On this one we will agree a little more closely. Like V13, I like this hire a lot. Need to remember Coach Jones as well as other staff members got caught in the blast from the Hugh Freeze fiasco at Ole Miss. Don’t think he had any involvement, but being anywhere close to something like that leaves a taint for a few years.

      I think this is a great hire by TA as he continues to rebuild the Dave Wommack defensive coaching tree. Day one Jones will be able to hit the ground running, likely knowing the defensive system and philosophy as well as both TA and Kane Wommack. As for the Teegardin move, not sure. Hope it works out better than the last couple years.

  3. Watching a video of Jones talking about coach Allen I can see why he came to IU. I am guessing coach Wommack will use him like a co-defensive coordinator. On the surface this looks like a home run hire and I hope it turns out that way on the field and in the recruiting classes down the road.

  4. V13,
    I agree that on the surface this appears to be a great hire. What gives me confidence that it may be more than surface deep is both TA and Wommack probably know Jones very well. TA from having coached with him under Dave Wommack, and KW through his father.

  5. From everything I’ve read, this looks like a great hire. His track record shows that he’s an excellent DB’s coach (2014 National DB Coach of the year). I didn’t find anything that showed he was a great recruiter but he’s had his hand in developing a good number of NFL draft picks.

  6. I agree that this is a good hire. Jones has been associated with winning programs, he knows TA and Wommack and their system, and those relationships are invaluable. He’s got to have experience and relationships that will help improve recruiting, especially in Florida and throughout the Southeast. The only concern would be how long he’ll be satisfied coaching safeties at IU. I hate to see a guy come in and then leave a year later for a lateral position and more money. Premature turnover in key personnel is detrimental to any organization. I guess we’ll know more when we discover what Jones’ salary is. My guess is that it will be a lot more than Teegardin was getting paid.

    As for Teegardin taking over Special teams, that also looks like a good move. It broadens his experience and probably increases his compensation. I doubt he’ll be looking past that responsibility or feel that the job’s not worthy of his experience and ambitions.

    1. Po,
      I agree how long Jason Jones can be kept at IU is a concern. Hopefully DeBoer moving through so fast will be an aberration rather than the norm. One year is a bit too short of a stay. I would rather see a 2-3 year average on the staff, with each moving up in their careers to bigger and better things. Not more money, but stepping up Coordinators & Assistant HC’s to HC’s and position coaches to Coordinators & Assistant HC’s. A sign of a very healthy successful program when your staffers are in demand by other programs, especially at the HC position.

      I hope we will see Jones stay at least 2-3 years. This would be long enough for young Wommack to establish himself and may be a HC target by another program. No doubt, Jones has been well groomed to move into the DC spot if TA were to need him. Nothing better for IUFB than to see the TA coaching tree grow and grow. Just so long as it does not grow too fast and you can’t keep assistants long enough to establish continuity and strong recruiting ties.

    2. PO wrote, “The only concern would be how long he’ll be satisfied coaching safeties at IU.” Rewrite this as “The only concern would be how long he’ll be satisfied coaching x at x” and it pretty much covers college coaching in general.

        1. My “attitude” is not to be concerned about garden-variety concerns. PO worries a lot because he loves IUFB, and that’s why I love PO. Heart emoji here. Maybe even puckered-lip emoji.

  7. TA has ‘his guys’. There should be a genuine comfort level within this group. Recruiting as well as X’s & O’s look to be upgraded across the board. Gotta’ believe Sheridan will hold his own. Wright’s hire is intriguing. He has dealt with top national H S kids for years. His staff at IMG were former NFL players. As a bonus, Inge is outta’ here! Yeah.

  8. I don’t think Jones will leave as long as coach Allen is around. His video about coach Allen shows he really loves being around him and I think he will stay. I have been wrong before but I just don’t see him leaving soon. With him on the staff and coach Wright I think IU will move up in the B1G and get better rated athletes to come to IU, we will just have to wait and see if this happens.

  9. It is touching and reassuring that Jones has such a high regard for TA, and I think their relationship really matters to both men. But given how little job security exists in the world of college FB, don’t think for a moment that Jones, or any other position coach, wouldn’t jump ship if some school comes a calling with a big increase in pay, especially if he can command a guaranteed contract. These guys have families and they know long term job security is non existent, so they are conditioned to make as much money as they can as fast as they can. But I can see the potential for a guy like Jones to ascend into IU’s DC job in a few years if Wommack gets a shot to become a head coach somewhere.

    Overall, it appears that a lot of college football coaches like and respect TA, and over the long run, that is extremely valuable to IU’s FB program. Now I’d like to see both Jones and Wright go out and secure a couple more good recruits for the class of 2020. Given all the coaching changes that have taken place, there’s still opportunity to poach a couple of good ones.

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