Curtis Jones, West Virginia’s assistant athletic director for academic support since June 2012, died Wednesday morning in Morgantown at the age of 40. The cause of death has not been determined.
Jones and his family have had a significant presence in the Big 12 Conference. His father, Curtis Sr., was an assistant coach at Missouri. He suffered a fatal heart attack shortly before the 1998 season. Corby Jones, the son of Curtis Sr. and younger brother of Curtis, played quarterback at Missouri and led the Tigers to bowl games in 1997 and 1998.
“The Mountaineer athletic family is overwhelmed with sorrow at the sudden passing of Curtis Jones. In his brief time with West Virginia University, he brought passion and professionalism to his position as the head of academic support for all of our WVU student-athletes,” West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck said in a statement issued by the school. “He was a beloved figure among the coaches, fellow administrators and student-athletes. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers and condolences are with his family, particularly with his wife, Mary Ellen Jones, a valued member of our Mountaineer family.”
"Curtis Jones was a close friend, a role model to our players and a true professional," Mountaineers football coach Dana Holgorsen said. "His loss will be felt by all of us in many ways. On behalf of WVU football, I offer my deepest sympathies to Mary Ellen and all of Curtis' family."
Before coming to West Virginia, Jones previously held administrative positions in the athletic departments at Texas, South Florida and Oklahoma. He was Missouri’s director of football operations in 1999-2000 under former Tigers coach Larry Smith.
Jones’ wife, Mary Ellen, serves as the director of sports administration at WVU and also previously worked at the Big 12 Conference office.
Here is a link to a video tribute honoring Jones that was produced by West Virginia.