JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jordan Mincy is ready for the challenge of a career.
The man tabbed to restore the Jacksonville University basketball brand and guide it to new heights was introduced on Friday, bringing high energy and big expectations to the school in Arlington.
Mincy, 36, spent the past six seasons as an assistant at the University of Florida alongside coach Mike White and now has the opportunity to build a program for the first time at JU.
He’s ready. He’s excited.
And, he’s got a lot of work in front of him.
Mincy vowed to JU players on Friday that they would win and be a part of a program that they’re proud to call their own. He wants the Dolphins to play fast and play to their strengths. Mincy said that his philosophy won’t be so rigid that players can’t make it their own. And he wants former JU players to be a part of the new era coming in.
He knows the big names from the program’s past like Artis Gilmore and Dee Brown.
Mincy said that he hopes to pay tribute to the Dolphins’ past and build a program that students, both former and current, are proud of well into the future. That starts by leaning on players like Gilmore and Brown, both icons from the school. Gilmore led JU to the 1970 national championship game and later became an NBA hall of famer.
Brown won the NBA’s Slam Dunk competition in 1991 with his signature no look dunk, preceded by him pumping up his Reeboks. It’s one of the most memorable videos in NBA history. Mincy was 5 years old at the time.
Now, the self-described “sneakerhead” is in charge of the college program that Brown played at. Don’t think that bit of nostalgia wasn’t brought up this week.
“One of the first things I asked Dee Brown, I said ‘hey Dee, are you still releasing your shoes?’ He said, ‘yeah, I got a lifetime deal,’” Mincy said. “He said, matter of fact, give me your shoe size, and I’ll hand deliver you a pair of Reebok pumps, and so, you know, that made my day.”
Recruiting will be Mincy’s first major task and he said that he intends to recruit the area as hard as possible. Keeping local talent local is something that Mincy said he wants to focus on.
The Dolphins have had just eight seasons above .500 since joining the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2001, the last coming in 2017 (17-16). Tony Jasick followed the most successful coach in program history in Cliff Warren, but couldn’t get the Dolphins into the upper tier of the ASUN during his seven-year tenure in town. Jasick was 95-122 and 42-60 in the ASUN before being fired earlier this month.
“We’re trying to build a solid foundation here,” Mincy said.
“And like I told Artis before, you know, I had the opportunity to start the press conference, I said, ‘hey look, Artis, I need you around.’ I need you sharing your stories, your scars with these with this young generation, and letting them know that, you know, at JU, even though we’re a smaller university, that guess what, we’re able to do great things.”
For athletic director Alex Ricker-Gilbert, now in his fifth year at JU, the basketball hire was the biggest of his tenure. He started conversations with Mincy around the time of the SEC tournament and things progressed from there. Ricker-Gilbert said that there was immense interest in the job from the outset but the fit with Mincy was ideal.
“Several hundred, several hundred [interested coaches]. You know there’s only 358 of these jobs in the world,” he said. “And so, they’re sought after. And there’s a lot of good coaches, but it’s about finding the right person for your place, and Jordan’s that.”