Naismith Hall-of-Famer and University of San Francisco basketball legend K.C. Jones will receive another honor this year for his stellar NCAA career. Jones will be inducted into the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor, joining eight other WCC legends to be inducted March 3 at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The ceremony will take place during the conference tournament, held at the same locale.
This year's class includes Jones, BYU's Elaine Michaelis (Volleyball/Administration), Gonzaga University's Blake Stepp (Men's Basketball), Loyola Marymount University's Billy Bean (Baseball), Pepperdine University's Dana Jones (Men's Basketball), University of Portland's Kasey Keller (Men's Soccer), Saint Mary's College's Tom Candiotti (Baseball), University of San Diego's Thomas Burke (Administration), and Santa Clara University's Kurt Rambis (Men's Basketball).
Jones was a member of USF's back-to-back national championship teams in 1954-55 and 1955-56 and was an Olympic gold medalist. He joins NBA Don and All-American Joe Ellis, Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Bob St. Clair and soccer legend and NSCAA Hall-of-Famer Steve Negoesco as WCC Hall of Honor inductees for the University of San Francisco.
A graduate of San Francisco's Commerce High School, Jones turned in an All-American career at USF under the tutelage of fellow Naismith Hall-of-Famer Phil Woolpert. In Jones' first year with the Dons in 1952-53, San Francisco posted a 10-11 record. After suffering a season-ending injury the following season, Jones paired with Naismith Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell to propel Dons to the top of the college basketball world. San Francisco won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1954-55 and 1955-56. After falling to UCLA in the third game of the 1954-55 season, Jones and Russell would not lose another for the remainder of their collegiate careers, rolling to 55 consecutive victories.
After a two-year stint in the Army, Jones bypassed a potential NFL career to join Russell in Boston and played a key role in the Celtics dynasty, capturing eight rings in nine seasons under coaching legend Red Auerbach. Known as a tenacious defender and a fearless competitor, Jones averaged 7.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game during his NBA career. Jones' No. 25 jersey was retired by the Celtics and his No. 4 jersey was retired by the Dons.
Following his playing career, Jones began his coaching career. He spent three seasons as a college head coach before joining the Los Angeles Lakers as an assistant coach in 1971-72. Jones' earned his first NBA head coaching job with the Washington Bullets where he spent three seasons, including a trip to the 1975 NBA Finals. Jones returned to the Celtics as an assistant coach and won another ring with the franchise in 1980-81.
Jones took the reigns in Boston in 1983 and coached multiple Naismith Hall-of-Famers - Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish and Bill Walton - to NBA Championships in 1984 and 1986. In 10 seasons as an NBA head coach, Jones compiled a 522-252 (.674) record with five trips to the NBA Finals. No individual in NBA history has collected more championship rings than Jones (12).
Thanks to the University of San Francisco for this detailed information about the extensive career of K.C. Jones, and congrats to Jones for yet another noteworthy accomplishment.