RICHMOND, Va. – A valuable member of the Virginia Commonwealth University men's basketball program earned something he's been working towards for nearly 25 years.

Assistant Coach Mike Jones, who has been with the Rams for the past two seasons, was named the new Head Coach at Radford University on Tuesday afternoon.

"Radford just hired a tremendous basketball coach and more importantly an unbelievable person," Head Coach Shaka Smart said. "Over the past two seasons, I've had the great fortune of working with Mike and I can say with no hesitation that there isn't an aspect of coaching where he doesn't excel. Mike and his staff will do great things at Radford."

Jones, who was the architect of VCU's defense during his tenure, helped guide the Rams to a school-record 55 wins over the past two years, including the magical run to the Final Four this past March.

"I'm very humbled by this opportunity and am extremely grateful for these past two years here at VCU," Jones said. "My family and I were welcomed with open arms by the entire VCU athletic department and the incredible Ram fans and I'll forever be appreciative for that. The relationships that myself and my family built over the past two years is something that I'll always cherish."

During his time with the Black & Gold, Jones saw his defensive efforts break the school record for steals in back-to-back years, posting a total of 646 thefts during his two seasons. It was the first time in school history that VCU had tallied consecutive seasons of 300 or more steals.

He also provided guidance for the VCU frontcourt, which saw Larry Sanders get drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks last year and Jamie Skeen becoming a strong candidate for the NBA Draft this season.

On the recruiting trail, Jones proved to be a huge asset, helping the Rams secure the top recruiting classes in the CAA in both 2010 and 2011.

Prior to coming to VCU, Jones spent time as an assistant at Howard University, Furman University, the University of Richmond, West Virginia University and Georgia.

Coach Smart, his staff and the entire VCU athletics family would like to wish Coach Jones and his family all the best in their new endeavors.