Before the 11-0 in conference West Los Angeles College Wildcats, ranked #4 in the state, squared off against the LA Valley Monarchs on February 9, WLAC Head Basketball Coach Anthony Jones was honored for having earned his 100th win which was reached on January 29 against Glendale. After the festivities, the Wildcats were triumphant, defeating their opponent 84 to 59.
“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 universities 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 an assistant coach who is female.
“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.”
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Before joining WLAC, Coach Jones already had over 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. During his tenure, the team won multiple conference titles and produced three NABC All-Americans.
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, Coach Jones has been a personal trainer for NBA players and spent 2000 and 2001 training members of the Atlanta Hawks organization.
Jones’ other experience includes having been Associate Head Coach at Riverside City College and the first Head Boys Basketball Coach at Vista del Lago High School where he also served as the Assistant Athletics Director.
Coach Jones earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University where he lettered in football and was a member of a Pac-10 championship team. His Master’s in Education was earned at Azusa Pacific University.
West Los Angeles College is a member in good standing of the Western State Conference and the California Community College Athletic Association. WLAC Athletics serves over 250 Student-Athletes across 11 intercollegiate sports, including: Men’s Baseball and Football; Women’s Soccer, Softball and Volleyball; and Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Cross Country and Track.