MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Curtis Jones Jr., who was entering his second year as West Virginia University’s associate athletic director for academic support, died unexpectedly Wednesday morning. He was 40.
Athletics director Oliver Luck told the university’s website “the Mountaineer athletic family is overwhelmed with sorrow at the sudden passing” of Jones, who spent the previous three years in a similar position at Texas. He previously in student development and compliance positions at South Florida and Oklahoma, along with serving a two-year stint as director of football operations at Missouri.
Jones is survived by his wife Mary Ellen, who serves as WVU’s director of sports administration. His younger brother Corby was the starting quarterback at Missouri in 1997 and 1998, and their father Curtis Jones Sr. was a Mizzou football assistant when he died from a heart attack in 1998.
“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,” Luck said. “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.”
West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen described Jones as “a close friend, a role model to our players and a true professional. His loss will be felt by all of us in many ways.”
In 1995, Jones graduated with a sociology degree from Dartmouth, where he lettered four years for the baseball team. He earned a master’s in journalism from Missouri in 1998.
“Curtis was an incredible person both professionally and personally,” said Keli Cunningham, WVU’s associate athletics director for governance and compliance. “The positive impact he made on our program would be completely underestimated if I tried to explain it in words. He will be deeply missed, and I am so grateful for the time we shared with him.”