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WLAC coach trains scholar-athletes


The West Los Angeles College (WLAC) Wildcats basketball team, ranked number four in the state, recently honored Head Basketball Coach Anthony Jones for having earned his 100th game win.

“Everything is a process. I am a firm believer that we are what we repeatedly do. It is an honor and my life’s work to watch my students walk through the door as boys and leave as young men.” said Jones, who became WLAC’s head coach in 2015. “It has never been about getting wins, it’s about my student-athletes becoming successful.”

And his students do realize success both on and off the court. Since 2015, the team GPA has steadily increased under Coach Jones’ direction from 2.51 to 3.02 in 2018, to 3.6 in Fall 2021. In the same time period, 100 percent of sophomores graduated and transferred to four-year institutions, including several who went on to play ball at the university level.

Coach Jones also leads in making a path for women in men’s sports. He leads the first California Community College Athletic Association men’s team in history to hire a female assistant coach.

“The entire campus congratulates Coach Jones and his achievement of 100 wins in nine years. We are proud of the four playoff appearances and back-to-back Western State Conference championships the team has earned under his tenure and his back-to-back Conference Coach of the Year awards. But of most significance is the positive impact he has as a positive role model for each of his athletes,” said Dr. James M. Limbaugh, WLAC President. “It is this that will last long beyond their time on the court.”

Past players sent words of thanks and congratulations via video.

“He had no idea who I was. I told him my life story and he gave me an opportunity and that opportunity led to me getting a scholarship to Bushnell University,” said Isaac Girley, now a guard for the Bushnell Beacons.

Now a Lincoln University forward, alumnus Derrick Woods added, “I really appreciate everything you did for me at West LA. I always felt like the table was against me. You always told me ‘wait your turn there’s always a better ending. Write your own story.’”

Before joining WLAC, Coach Jones already had more than 20 years of experience on a variety of levels including high school, travel, community college, university and professional. His longest engagement prior to West was a six-year stint at Cal State University, San Bernardino as assistant coach, then Head Assistant Coach.

Co-founder of North Riverside Slam-n-Jam, Jones is the nephew of legendary coach Al Hunter. This program began as a spring/summer developmental league that grew into one of the largest travel organizations in the state. Through their mentorship, numerous players moved on to play college athletics, became professional athletes and some moved on to coaching. On a professional level, Jones has been a personal trainer for NBA players and spent 2000 and 2001 training members of the Atlanta Hawks organization.