MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU) Department of Athletics is pleased to announce that Jared Ronai will take the reins as the new head coach of the men’s basketball program. Ronai comes to MVNU from NCAA Division I University of North Carolina-Asheville where he has served as an assistant coach/Recruiting Coordinator since 2013.
“We are very excited to have Jared accept the position to coach our men’s basketball program,” MVNU Director of Athletics Keith Veale said. “We had many high quality applicants and Jared’s experiences and heart rose to the top. He has years of expertise from a variety of basketball experiences and his involvement at the upper levels of college basketball will be attractive to our current team, and future prospective players. He is someone that is very familiar to the landscape of recruiting throughout Ohio. That network and experience will be instrumental in finding players to build the program around and fit into our unique university.”
Ronai was an integral part of the UNC-Asheville coaching staff, spearheading recruiting efforts along with assisting Head Coach Nick McDevitt with coordination of the day to day operations of the program. Ronai was the lead recruiter for the 2013 recruiting class which included top 25 players from Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia.
“My wife and I are ecstatic about having the opportunity to come back home to Ohio and be a part of such an exceptional community and University. I know the great reputation and tradition of excellence that the Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s program has and I look forward to building our “RULE Cougar” culture one day and one step at a time. This is going to take an incredible amount of commitment from both coaches and players, but I’m looking forward to and embrace the challenges ahead.”
“Jared not only has a real good idea about how he wants to build a basketball program, he also impressed the search committee in the way he articulated his faith,” Veale added.
Ronai got his coaching start at Middletown High School in Middletown, Ohio, which boasts one of the top programs in the state. As the Associate Head Coach from 2007-09, he organized and coordinated practice planning, on court coaching, scouting, and conditioning. During his tenure at Middletown, he coached three 1st Team All-Conference players, two All-Ohio players, and one two-time Conference Player of the Year.
As a player, Ronai competed at both the NCAA Division I and II levels, getting his start at UNC-Asheville before finishing up at Georgia Southwestern State University (DII). At Georgia Southwestern, Ronai was the starting point guard for two seasons and received the Champions of Character Award which is given to only 32 players nationally.
Ronai is a 2006 graduate of Georgia Southwestern State and earned his Masters of Education degree from the University of Dayton in 2009. He played for his father Bob Ronai at London High School where he was a first team All-Ohio choice and the conference, county and district player of the year. He posted over 1,000 points and 500 plus assists in his career.
Coaching runs in Ronai’s family with his father (Bob) amassing over 550 career wins at the high school and collegiate level. He served as the Head Coach at Urbana University from 1986-1997 and is currently the Athletic Director at Toledo St. John’s High School. His older brother, Jason, is a former coach at Navy and currently the head basketball coach and vice principal at Chicago Bulls Prep, in Chicago.