Jay John, a Tucson native and graduate of the University of Arizona, enters his fourth season with the UA basketball program. Hired in May of 1998, he affects all phases of the program. John works with the big men, plays a part in game preparation and aids with recruiting.
He came Arizona after one season as an assistant coach at the University of Oregon and immediately gave the program the luxury of a new staff member who had a well-versed familiarity with the Pacific-10 Conference.
It didn't take long for John to make his mark. In his first season, he guided a Wildcat frontline that helped the team lead the Pac-10 in rebounding throughout the 1998-2000 seasons. He also guided a pair of Wildcat post players to individual acclaim. John coached center A.J. Bramlett to All-Pac-10 first team honors as a senior and directed Michael Wright to the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award.
John was instrumental in the further development of Wright into a first-team All-Pac-10 and third team All-America pick and a second-round selection by the New York Knicks in last summer's NBA draft. He also helped incorporate one of the best post talents in the nation into the Arizona lineup for the past two seasons. Loren Woods, the 1999-2000 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year, was an honorable mention All-American in his final season and was an All-NCAA Final Four pick.
John, who has 14 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience, joined the Oregon program in June of 1997, after spending eight seasons (1989-97) as an assistant to Barry Collier at Butler University. In his final season at Butler, the Bulldogs set a handful of school records, including a new standard for wins in a season (23 in 1996-97), the same year they made the NCAA tournament for the first time in 35 years. In John's final two years at Butler, the program posted the best back-to-back seasons in school history with 42 victories. Prior to his stint at Butler, he was an assistant for one year (1988-89) at San Francisco under Jim Brovelli and arrived just one year after fellow UA assistant coach Rodney Tention completed his eligibility at USF.
John, 43, also coached at Jamestown Community College in New York as an assistant and as a head coach. From 1986-88, he guided the school to a total record of 41-19 (.683) and received Region 3 Coach of the Year honors in 1987 after directing the program to a 22-7 record and the Region 3 title. He spent the 1985-86 season as an assistant at Oregon under Don Monson.
John attended Tucson's Salpointe Catholic High School and graduated from the UA in 1981 with a degree in biology. He also earned a Master's of Science degree in physical education at Butler University in 1994. He and his wife, Lisa, have two sons, Tyler, 13, and Trevor, 6.