Career coach Bobby Jones has moved a step closer to a National Hockey League job. Jones, who hails from the Sault Ste. Marie area beach town of Haviland Bay, has joined the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League as an assistant coach.
Texas is the top farm club of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League.
The 48-year old Jones has a lengthy past as a notable Ontario Hockey League coach and player.
He played five seasons, spanning 240 games, as a dependable defenseman with the Soo Greyhounds — including being team captain — before turning to coaching at age 25 after a few years in the minor pro system of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.
Jones has been a highly-regarded assistant, associate and head coach in the OHL for more than 20 years, having worked for the Greyhounds, Brampton Battalion, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, Sudbury Wolves, Windsor Spitfires and Oshawa Generals.
While the associate coach in Windsor — where he and his family have resided for the past 11 years — Jones was part of two Memorial Cup championship teams with the Spitfires.
His most recent gig was a three-year stint with Oshawa as its head coach.
One of the really good, honest guys of the game, the likeable Jones recently turned down a one-year contract extension to remain in Oshawa for the 2018-2019 OHL season and had applied for the vacant bench boss position with the Soo Greyhounds before accepting the pro offer from Texas.
Scott White, who is the general manager for the aforementioned AHL Stars, took note of the extensive coaching experience that Jones has.
“Bob has been very successful in junior hockey for two decades and we are pleased to welcome him to the Dallas Stars organization,” White said. “His wealth of knowledge and ability to develop young players will be a tremendous asset to our organization.”
From his end, Jones told Hockey News North that “it was time to go after a pro job and chase my dream of one day maybe coaching in the NHL. My wife and I sacrificed previous opportunities to leave our home (in the Windsor area) for family reasons but our kids are 22 and 19 years old now so I guess you can say this is good timing for us.
“This in an exciting opportunity to be a part of the Dallas Stars organization,” Jones added. “Like I said, the timing is right for my family.”
PHOTO: Veteran OHL coach Bobby Jones is moving up to the pro ranks.