Utah State basketball: Spencer Nelson to replace Chris Jones on Aggies staff

August 20, 2016 GMT

Former Utah State basketball star Spencer Nelson is joining the coaching staff as an assistant.

Nelson will replace Chris Jones, who is leaving the Aggies after eight years to become director of basketball operations at the University of Utah.

Nelson, 36, ranks 19th in Utah State’s all-time scoring list and is eighth in career rebounding. He played for USU in 1999 and from 2003-05.

Nelson was not drafted by an NBA team, but once tried out for the Utah Jazz as a free agent. He ended up playing professionally in Europe for 10 years. Since retiring in 2015, Nelson has been working as sports broadcaster in Salt Lake City.

On Friday, Nelson’s wife confirmed on Facebook that he has accepted the Utah State job and their family will be moving to Cache Valley.

Meanwhile, Utah State head coach Tim Duryea confirmed Jones’ departure and called him “an integral part” of the Aggies’ success over the years.

“This is a move Chris and his family felt like they needed to make for a variety of reasons,” he said. “We wish him the very best. Chris and I have experienced a lot of great moments coaching together … and I will always appreciate and value his basketball knowledge, work ethic, loyalty and friendship.”

Said Jones: “Our years in Logan have been special. The Cache Valley community, the Utah State community and all the great people and players that I’ve been fortunate to be around will forever be remembered by our family.”

Jones called Duryea “a great friend and mentor. He is a great basketball coach and I look forward to watching the Aggies have great success.”

Jones’ son, a sophomore in high school, will be a national recruit in 2019. Earlier this week, the Tribune reported Rylan Jones has enrolled at Olympus High in Salt Lake City.