WACO, Texas – Baylor men’s basketball has hired John Jakus as an assistant coach, head coach Scott Drew announced Friday. Jakus joins the Baylor staff after spending the past three seasons as director of operations at Gonzaga. He previously worked at Baylor as a graduate assistant during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
“John is someone we know well from his previous experience on our staff, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring him back to Baylor. We’ve already heard from many former players how excited they are that he’s returning to Waco,” Drew said. “He gained tremendous experience working on the staff at Gonzaga the last three years, helping lead them to the 2017 Final Four and three consecutive Sweet 16 appearances. He was also a professional coach and assistant general manager in Europe, and he worked extensively with Athletes in Action. John’s character, leadership and coaching ability make him a great fit for our program.”
In five seasons as a member of Division I coaching staffs, Jakus’ has helped teams combine to post a 149-35 record, including a 16-4 postseason mark with four trips to the Sweet 16, two Elite Eights, one Final Four and one NIT championship.
Jakus was on Few’s staff as director of operations at Gonzaga for the past three seasons. He assisted the coaching staff with scouting using both film and advanced analytics, and he helped establish a series of cultural beliefs that allowed both the offensive and defensive efficiencies to improve. He also acted the program’s liaison to the athletics department in the areas of game scheduling, recruiting, on-campus visits, travel, fundraising, sports information and marketing.
Jakus gained experience evaluating and recruiting during the July 2015 live period while Few was coaching USA Basketball. Additionally, he oversaw and established the use of analytics, working with the video coordinators to establish in-house editing to produce postgame and season-long analysis.
Gonzaga reached its first Final Four in 2017, and the Zags defeated South Carolina to advance to the national title game against North Carolina. In addition to finishing as national runner-up in 2017, Gonzaga earned an Elite Eight berth in 2015 and advanced to the Sweet 16 as a No. 11 seed in 2016. The program went a combined 100-13 during Jakus’ three seasons on staff, including a 9-3 NCAA Tournament record.
Prior to his three seasons at Gonzaga, Jakus spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at Baylor. The Bears advanced to the 2014 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and won the 2013 NIT title during his tenure. He worked with video operations, including firm breakdown and evaluation video for Baylor players. He also assisted the coaching staff in limited on-court activities during practices, advance scouting, offensive and defensive strategies and on-campus recruiting.
Jakus gained extensive experience as a professional coach in Europe prior to joining the Baylor staff in 2012. He was head coach and assistant general manager of ABA Strumica in Macedonia (2010-11) and head coach and chaplain for Agape Bulgaria (2007-09). He also worked with Athletes in Action as volunteer head coach for both NCAA and professional basketball trips (2005-08) and as international basketball head coach and director (2008-14).
A Chicago native, Jakus graduated from Trinity International University with a Bachelor of Science in religious studies in 1999. He earned a Master’s Degree in sport management from Baylor in 2014. Jakus and his wife, Sara, have three children – sons Brady and Cal and daughter Harper.
Jakus fills the vacancy on Drew’s coaching staff created when Paul Mills became head coach at Oral Roberts after spending 14 seasons at Baylor. Mills is the third former Drew assistant to become a Division I head coach, joining Matthew Driscoll at North Florida and Grant McCasland at Arkansas State and North Texas.