Yale Bulletin
and Calendar

May 3-17, 1999Volume 27, Number 31

Bulldogs name new coaches
of basketball teams

Pinning its basketball hopes on new faces, Yale has appointed James Jones as head coach of the men's team and Amy Backus as head coach of the women's squad.

Jones, assistant men's basketball coach at Yale from 1995 to 1997, and Back, former assistant women's basketball coach at Northwestern University, were introduced to the University community by Athletic Director Tom Beckett at a press conference on April 26.

James Jones. In the 104-year history of men's basketball at Yale, Jones is the 22nd head coach.

Jones returns to Yale after two years as an assistant coach at Ohio University, where he was primarily responsible for coordinating the Bobcats' recruiting efforts and developing the post players. Last year, he helped guide Ohio to an 18-10 overall record and a berth in the Mid American Conference Tournament semifinals.

At Yale, Jones spearheaded the recruiting efforts for the Class of 2001.

Jones served as an assistant basketball coach 1990-95 at his alma mater, the State University of New York at Albany. In his final two seasons there, he helped lead the team to a 44-11 record and an appearance in the NCAA Division III Elite Eight in 1993-94. His primary responsibilities included recruiting, scouting, supervising the fall conditioning program, and advising team members on academic matters. The team was 93-40 during his five seasons on the bench.

A native of Long Island, N.Y., Jones graduated from Albany in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in communications, and in 1995 earned his master's in educational administration. As a player at Albany, he was a member of the 1985 team which appeared in the NCAA Tournament and lost in the quarterfinals. He played for and coached with Richard Sauers, one of only seven collegiate coaches to win more than 700 games.

Jones is active in several organizations, including the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the New York State Basketball Coaches Association and the Black Coaches Association.

Before entering the coaching profession, he was an executive account manager at NCR Corporation in Albany, where he managed a $1.5 million sales territory.

Jones replaces Dick Kuchen, who resigned in March.

Amy Backus. In the 27-year history of Yale women's basketball, Backus is the eighth head coach.

A 1979 graduate of Central Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in education, she has served as an assistant at Northwestern for the past four years. She was responsible for floor coaching, team preparation, scheduling, off-season conditioning and player development. In 1997, the team earned an NCAA Tournament bid with a 17-11 record. The 1996 team played in the finals of the Women's NIT and finished with a 23-11 record.

Previously, Backus was the head coach at Middlebury College in Vermont 1987-94. At Middlebury, her teams were 106-41 and captured the ECAC New England Division III Championship in 1992-93. While at Middlebury, Backus was an active member of the New England Women's Basketball Association, serving as president in 1993. Prior to coaching at Middlebury, she served as an assistant at the University of Vermont for one year.

A native of Vermilion, Ohio, Backus also served as head coach of basketball and softball at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, 1980-85.

Backus replaces Cecelia DeMarco, who retired from coaching after nine seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs.


Bulldogs name new coaches of basketball teams
Gift from Class of 1951 will help to strengthen libraries in four city schools
The homes of many older people are rife with easily eliminated hazards, says study
Gelatin gladiators
Three named to Endowed Professorships
Former Clinton counsel says Starr went 'beyond ethical pale'
Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project to perform on campus
A Conversation with an Acclaimed Actress
Talk by noted biochemist will highlight Student Research Day
Memorial service held for former trustee David C. Grimes
Lecture series will explore whether Yale and New Haven share a 'common vision'
Art Gallery expands its exhibit offerings on the theme of Asian art
Campus will be the site of the annual meeting of the American Law and . . .
Institute's first resident scholars to pursue projects on race and religion
Winks honored by Oxford, National Parks
Campus Notes

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