Jones to leave Wildcats after 2018-19 season; named head coach at Spoon River College

Mike Landis, Editor
The 2018-19 season will be the last for Chance Jones as head boys basketball coach at Galva High School. Jones is leaving after the season to take over the newly-reinstated men’s basketball program at Spoon River College in Canton.

Chance Jones is going back to college.

The Galva High School boys basketball coach will conclude his second stint with the Wildcats at the end of the 2018-19 season, and take over as head coach of the Spoon River College men’s basketball program.

“I had a taste of college basketball and I missed it,” Jones said of his move to the junior college in Canton. “I just like being able to help kids all over the place. It’s a big step in their lives.”

"We are very excited to announce Chance Jones as our new head men's basketball coach," said John Bassett, athletic director and head softball coach at Spoon River. "Chance has experience and proven success recruiting and winning at the college level. He is the perfect person to lead our program."

Jones enjoyed a successful stint as the men’s basketball coach at Black Hawk East where he led the Warriors to an Arrowhead Conference title, berth in the Region 4 championship game and 26-win season in 2015-16. But the program was disbanded after that season, and Jones returned to Galva High School for the 2016-17 season.

In his first stint at Galva, Jones led the Wildcats to 45 wins in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, two regular-season Lincoln Trail Conference titles and one Lincoln Trail Conference Tournament title. Since his return to GHS, the Wildcats have won 39 game in two seasons and made a regional championship game appearance.

Jones also was head coach at AlWood High School for two seasons.

When Galva’s upcoming season concludes, Jones will start from scratch at Spoon River. The college is reinstating men’s and women’s basketball for the 2020-21 season, and is building a new on-campus basketball facility.

Jones said the administrations at both Spoon River and Galva were agreeable to his arrangement of coaching the Wildcats in 2018-19 then taking over the Snappers in preparation for the 2020-21 campaign.

“I didn’t want to leave on such late notice,” Jones said of staying with the Wildcats for another year. “I met with the administration and kids and told them that nothing has changed for this year.”

The timeline will give Jones a chance to recruit, become familiar with his new surroundings and assemble his first team.

Spoon River is part of the Mid-West Athletic Conference with Danville, Heartland, Illinois Central, John Wood, Lewis &Clark, Lincoln Land, Parkland and Vincennes.

“The league is very good,”Jones said. “That will be a big step to take.”