Wake assistant coach, accused in man’s death, resigns

Jamill Jones resigned his job as a Wake Forest assistant basketball coach Friday, eight months after he was accused of fatally punching a man in New York.

Jones was on administrative leave for the entire college basketball season that concluded earlier this week.

“I believe it is in the best interest of both the team and me personally that I resign from my position,” Jones said in a statement released by the school. “It is my sincerest hope and desire that stepping down now will allow the student-athletes, coaches and administration at Wake Forest to focus fully on their studies and on the season ahead, without distraction, while I focus all of my attention and energy on resolving my legal case.”

A Wake Forest athletic department spokesman declined to comment on whether Jones was paid during the 2018-19 season or whether he is receiving any severance, according to the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal.

Demon Deacons head coach Danny Manning said in a statement, “This decision is in the best interest for both our program and Jamill. I appreciate everyone on our staff who took on extra responsibilities during Jamill’s leave and we are committed to finding a great addition to complete our coaching staff.”

Jones is charged with third-degree misdemeanor assault in connection with the death of a 35-year-old Florida man. He has pleaded not guilty, and the next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 6 in New York.

In late September, the New York City medical examiner ruled that Sandor Szabo’s death Aug. 5 was the result of a homicide, listing the official cause of death as “blunt impact injury of the head with brain injury.”

According to police, Jones punched Szabo in the face after Szabo knocked on Jones’ car window thinking it was his Uber ride. As a result of the punch, Szabo’s head reportedly hit the pavement, and he lost consciousness. Brought to a local hospital in critical condition, Szabo subsequently died.