Duke Assistant Derek Jones Leaves For Texas Tech
Duke’s football staff suffered a major loss when secondary coach Derek Jones left to take a position at Texas Tech. Jones has been on Duke’s staff since 2008 and has coached special teams and served as associate head coach, in addition to coaching defensive backs. He had previously started his coaching career with current Duke coach David Cutcliffe at Ole Miss.
With Duke, Jones created a social media presence that helped with Blue Devil recruiting, coining the defensive backs as the “Cheetahs” and the “Coalition.” Jones was also a prolific recruiter for Duke, playing a role in some of the Blue Devils most highly rated signees, including Sean Renfree, Shaq Powell, Jacob Monk, Scott Bracey, Ben Humphreys, Dylan Singleton, Matt Daniels and Eli Pancol.
“It’s never easy to say goodbye to family,” Cutcliffe posted on social media, “and Derek, Naketa and their daughters are family. I have shared so many special moments with him for more than 20 years. We’ll keep those memories fresh in our minds. We could not be more appreciative of Derek’s commitment to the Duke Football program for the past 12 years. He defines DukeGang and everything we stand for and represent. DJ has done it the right way on and off the field, working extremely hard to become a well-respected football coach in all facets of the profession.”
Jones responded online with, “Family to me is defined by the people you credit with the person you are. David Cutcliffe has been a mentor and friend to me since I started coaching and he’s first class in every aspect. I can’t thank you and Karen enough for all you’ve done for our family.”
Duke football also posted a video of himself and Jones, saying goodbye to each other.