The Ottawa Senators announced Tuesday that their assistant coach, Bob Jones, has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a neuromuscular disease. It affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing the loss of muscle control and the inability to speak.
Bob Jones has worked in the NHL and OHL for two decades. He spent seven seasons as an associate coach with the Windsor Spitfires. Later, he worked as an assistant coach with the Texas Stars in the AHL. Before he joined Smith’s staff, he was head coach of the Oshawa Generals.
Smith and Jones have been friends for many years. They played together for the Soo Greyhounds for four seasons in the late 1980s. After retiring from the NHL, they both transitioned into coaching in the Ontario Hockey League for several years.
During his career, Jones was the head coach of the Oshawa Generals for three seasons, then a coach with the Texas Stars in the AHL for one season. He later joined Smith’s staff with the Ottawa Senators for their fourth season.
In an effort to raise awareness of ALS, Jones decided to reveal his diagnosis. His family also wants to raise money for ALS research. That’s why they’ve asked for donations to the ALS Society of Canada and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Although he will continue to coach while receiving treatment, Jones said he will not leave his position with the Senators. Hopefully, by bringing attention to ALS, more people will be able to get help.