Connecticut running backs coach Ernest T. Jones has resigned a month after sparking controversy about football and religion.
Jones came under fire in January after he told the Hartford Courant, "we're going to make sure [players] understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle, that that's something that is important."
UConn president Susan Herbst responded to Jones’ comments by saying the university accepted everyone regardless of their background or beliefs.
Coach Bob Diaco, who coached with Jones at Notre Dame, said he was shocked Jones decided to resign.
"It all was a shock, absolutely," Diaco said. "He took his time and deeply reflected. He took a week and deeply reflected with his family to make a decision for him and his family to resign his position here and focus on private family matters and pursue other opportunities that facilitate and suit his family."
Diaco also stressed that Jones’ resignation was due to personal reasons and had nothing to do with his comments regarding religion and football. Diaco said he had addressed the comments with Jones and that the university and the program had moved on.
"The university administration and the department were extremely supportive and provided education to me which I passed along to the staff about speaking on behalf of the university as a university representative," Diaco said. "The fact of the matter is life happens. And things arise in people's lives that need attention and this is entirely, 100 percent coincidental."
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