EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings added a new defensive coach to their staff in Daronte Jones, who will work with Minnesota's defensive backs in 2020, the team announced Monday.
Jones is entering his fifth NFL season, having spent a pair of two-year stints with the Dolphins and Bengals, respectively, in the same role.
Here are five things to know about Jones:
1. Unique coaching journey
Jones traveled a unique path to the NFL, having coached at nearly all levels of football.
His past coaching positions have included high schools (Louisiana), Division II (Lenoir-Rhyne and Bowie State), FCS (Nicholls State), FBS (Hawaii, UCLA and Wisconsin) and the Canadian Football League (Montreal Alouettes).
2. Big Ten before NFL
Prior to joining Miami's staff in 2016, Jones served as the Wisconsin Badgers defensive backs coach in 2015, when the Big Ten team led the nation with only seven passing touchdowns allowed.
The Badgers ranked seventh in FBS in passing defense; Wisconsin DBs recorded 11 interceptions in 2015 after the group totaled just four the previous season.
3. Breakout Bengals
Under Jones' guidance in Cincinnati, second-year cornerback Darius Phillips had a breakout season for the Bengals. A fifth-round draft pick in 2018, Phillips played just eight games in 2019 but recorded four interceptions and seven passes defensed.
Second-year safety Jessie Bates also saw success under Jones in 2019. Bates led the Bengals with nine passes defensed and also totaled 100 tackles (press box stats) and three interceptions.
4. Maryland native
Jones hails from Capitol Heights, Maryland, which is located 35 miles from receiver Stefon Diggs' hometown of Gaithersburg.
Jones and Vikings wide receivers Andrew Janocko (Clearfield, Pennsylvania) represent the East Coast on Minnesota's coaching staff.
5. Morgan State grad
Jones earned his bachelor's degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, where he played four seasons as a defensive back for the Bears.