Just over a week after the official announcement that head basketball coach Rob Lanier would be leaving for SMU, Georgia State has named Atlanta native Jonas Hayes as his replacement. As with Lanier’s move to SMU, this hire was first reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein on Tuesday evening after a lot of speculation. The school then announced the move:
Hayes spent the last four years as an assistant coach at Xavier. He served as Associate Head Coach under Travis Steele this past season, taking over the head coaching position on an interim basis after the school fired Steele on March 16. As the interim, Hayes led the Musketeers to four straight victories in the NIT, culminating in a 73-72 win over Texas A&M in the title game. This will be Hayes’ first full-time head coaching job.
Before heading to Xavier, Hayes was an assistant from 2013 to 2018 at his alma mater Georgia, where he played alongside his twin brother and current Georgia State assistant Jarvis Hayes. His previous coaching stops before his time at UGA were Morehouse College in Atlanta, South Carolina State and Belmont Abbey College. Hayes also served as Georgia’s operations coordinator for the 2012 season before being named to the full-time staff the following season.
This job will be a homecoming for Hayes, as he and his brother Jarvis were standouts at Douglass High School in Atlanta. Both brothers averaged north of 25 points a game in their senior seasons and then started their collegiate careers together at Western Carolina in 1999. Jonas averaged 8 points a game and led the Southern Conference with a 63% field goal percentage as a freshman. They then made the decision to transfer back to their home state and play together at the University of Georgia. Jonas was a three-year letter-winner in Athens from 2001-2004, averaging a career-best 11.9 points per game in his fifth and final college season.
Georgia State athletic director Charlie Cobb said of the hire, “Jonas is an experienced leader who will build a staff that embraces our expectation of competitive success, develops men of character and engages our community positively and with energy.” Cobb and school president M. Brian Blake will formally introduce Coach Hayes in a news conference next week.
It will be a busy offseason for Hayes, as he looks to assemble a staff and rebuild a roster that sees four key seniors move on and junior guard Nelson Phillips exit the program. Follow along here at THERSdayNight.com and on Twitter – @THERSdayNight – as the news comes in about his coaching hires and the recruits he’s bringing in to help christen the brand-new Convocation Center in the fall.