Three-year UGA letterman Jonas Hayes joined the Georgia basketball staff as program coordinator earlier this week, according to head coach Mark Fox.
Hayes returns to Georgia after five seasons as an assistant basketball coach at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. Previously, he had also served brief stints as an assistant coach at South Carolina State, Morehouse College and his alma mater, Douglass High School in Atlanta.
‚ÄúI am really excited to have Jonas join our staff,‚Äù Fox said in a release. ‚ÄúHe will be a valuable asset as we move forward. He is a smart and talented young man who will be a great example to our players. I am excited to have a former player who is so passionate about Georgia become part of our team.‚Äù
Two of the three teams on which Hayes played reached postseason play, including the 2002 NCAA Tournament and 2004 NIT.
He started 41 of 88 games for the Bulldogs, scoring 759 points (8.6 ppg) and pulling down 435 rebounds (4.9). His career scoring high of 25 points came at a most opportune time, when the 2004 Bulldogs upended third-ranked Georgia Tech 83-80 in double overtime. Among his other career highlights included his first collegiate 3-pointer, a 30-foot bank shot at the buzzer that won a game for the Bulldogs at Colorado on Dec. 3, 2002.
‚ÄúI am thrilled to be coming back to Georgia,‚Äù Hayes said. ‚ÄúI can‚Äôt tell you how blessed I feel to be joining Coach Fox‚Äôs staff. UGA holds a special place in my heart. I‚Äôm just ready to get started, ready to do whatever I can to help build the program.‚Äù
Native Atlantans, Hayes and his twin brother Jarvis transferred to UGA after playing their freshman seasons at Western Carolina University. Jarvis earned 1st-team All-SEC honors in each of his years at Georgia before he entered the NBA draft in 2003. He played seasons in the NBA and continues to play professionally overseas.