The newest member of UNC Asheville’s coaching staff is Jared Ronai. The Ohio native joined the Bulldog coaching staff this past June after a successful stint at Ashland College.
Jared was a member of the Bulldogs team in the 2002-03 season when Asheville won the Big South Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
"I have known Jared Ronai and his family for many years. Having observed him as a college player and coach, two things that stood out most were his toughness and competitivenessm," stated Bulldog head coach Nick McDevitt. "He will be a great asset to our program with player development and recruiting. Jared will be a wonderful role model for our players and a fantastic representative for UNC Asheville."
Ronai spent the last four years at Ashland and was promoted to Associate Head Coach prior to the 2011-12 season. He had his hand in every phase of the program and helped Ashland improve its win total each year he was with the program. Ronai served as the program’s recruiting coordinator, lead scout, is in charge of the AU PAC line defense and guard development, as well as game and practice preparation. He also directed one of the finest university elite camps in the region, attracting players from across the Midwest.
“We’re delighted to welcome Jared back to UNC Asheville,” stated new Bulldog coach Nick McDevitt. “Jared is known as an outstanding recruiter and a very hard worker. We believe he’ll fit right with our coaching staff and our program.”
He spent three years as the Associate Head Coach at Middleton (OH) High School from 2006-09. Middleton was ranked third in the state of Ohio during Jared’s final year there. He coached three All-Conference players, two All-State players and two Conference Players of the Year while at Middleton.
Ronai came to AU after spending three years (2006-2009) as the associate head coach for the boy’s basketball program at Middletown (OH) High School. That program was ranked third in the state in the final Division I poll during Ronai’s last season on the staff. Ronai assisted in all aspects of scouting, plus game and practice preparation, directed all of the program’s summer camps and was the video coordinator. He coached three first team all-conference players, two all-state players and a two-time conference player of the year.
Ronai’s background also includes a stint as a volunteer graduate assistant coach with the men’s basketball program at the University of Dayton (2008). In that role he assisted in individual and summer team camp administration and in breaking down film. Ronai has also served as the student strength and conditioning coach at Georgia Southwestern State (2006) and as strength and conditioning intern at the United States Naval Academy (2006).
Jared red-shirted at UNC Asheville before transferring and completing his play career at Georgia Southwestern State He was a two-year starter at the point guard position and served as a team captain in 2005-06. Ronai was a recipient of the Champions of Character award, which is presented annually to only 32 players across the United States.
He is a 2006 graduate of Georgia Southwestern State and went on to earn a Masters of Education degree from the University of Dayton in 2009. He graduated from London High School in 2002 where he played for his father. His senior year at London he was a first team All-Ohio choice and the conference, county and district player of the year. He scored over 1,000 points and had over 500 assists in his career.
Ronai comes from a family of coaches. His father (Bob) has over 550 career wins at the high school and collegiate level and is currently the Athletic Director at Toledo St. John’s High School. Part of Bob’s collegiate coaching career came at Mars Hill College when both UNC Asheville and the Lions program were part of the NAIA District 26 and the schools had some memorable battles.
His older brother, Jason, is a former collegiate baseball coach at the United States Naval Academy and currently the head basketball coach and vice principal at Chicago Bulls Prep, in Chicago. Jason was a four-year starter in baseball at UNC Asheville from 1998-2001. His home run as a freshman on the final day of the regular season against Liberty put the Bulldogs into the Big South Conference Tournament.
Ronai married Kristin Daugherty on May 18th, 2013.