Jay Joyner was announced as the head men’s basketball coach at North Carolina A&T hours before the Aggies faced Coppin State in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Basketball Championship Tournament game on March 7, 2016. Joyner was named interim head coach weeks earlier on Jan. 29, 2016 after the resignation of Cy Alexander.
Under Joyner, the Aggies closed out the 2015-16 regular season with a 5-4 record overall and a 5-3 mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. After a tough season in his first full season as the Aggies head coach, Joyner spearheaded one of the best turnarounds in Division I history.
For his efforts, he became the first N.C. A&T men’s basketball coach to win MEAC coach of the year since Don Corbett did it after the 1987-88 season. He was also named the National Association Basketball Coaches District 15 coach of the year.
The Aggies improved 17 games from the 2016-17 season to the 2017-18 season coming one game shy of tying UTEP’s 18-game improvement in 2003-04. The Aggies finished 20-15 (.571) in 2017-18 marking the Aggies first 20-win season in five years and just the third in the past 30 years. The Aggies also put together their best winning percentage since the 1991-92 season. Their 18 regular-season wins were the most since ‘91-92.
Joyner led the Aggies to their first MEAC tournament win in five seasons when the Aggies won twice in the 2017-18 conference tournament. N.C. A&T’s run to the semifinals was just the school’s fourth semifinal appearance in 20 seasons. Their No. 4 seed in the tournament was the school’s highest seeding since 2009. Also in 2017-18, Joyner led the Aggies to their first undefeated season at home in 30 seasons as the Aggies went 12-0 at Corbett Sports Center.
Key recruits such as Femi Olujobi and Kameron Langley were key in the Aggies resurgence. Olujobi was a second-team All-MEAC selection after leading the nation in scoring over the first four weeks of the 2017-18 season. Langley was named to the conference’s all-rookie team after leading the MEAC in assist-to-turnover ratio and steals. The 2017-18 Aggies broke the school’s season record for points (2,623).
Before becoming N.C. A&T’s head coach, Joyner furthered his longtime relationship with Alexander as he served as the Aggies associate head coach (2012-16) under Alexander. Previously Joyner had played for Alexander as a student-athlete at S.C. State. He also worked with Alexander as an assistant prior to N.C. A&T. Alexander even served on Joyner’s staff at Columbia State Community College.
As the Aggies associate head coach, Joyner took the lead in the Aggies recruiting efforts. In his first season with the Aggies program, the Aggies won the MEAC title, won its first-ever NCAA tournament game and won 20 games for the first time in 25 years. Before coming to Greensboro, Joyner spent three seasons as the head men's basketball coach at Columbia State Community College, a two-year school in Middle Tennessee. Joyner led the Chargers to a 61-23 record and two Tennessee Community College Athletic Association regular-season titles.
In 2012, the Charges made their first national tournament appearance in 34 years. The 2011-12 team went 23-8 and finished the season ranked sixth in the nation. Joyner earned the 2011-12 National Junior College Athletic Association District 7 Coach of the Year honor and was named the TCCAA Coach of the Year in 2010 and '12.
Joyner spent the 2008-2009 season as an assistant coach for the Cumberland University men's basketball program, a National Association Intercollegiate Athletics institution, in Lebanon, Tenn. He helped the Bulldogs to an NAIA National Championship Tournament appearance with a 26-6 record.
Prior to finding success in Tennessee, Joyner gained experience working in the Big East. Joyner served as the director of player development for Rutgers University (2006-08
His coaching career began in Tennessee, where he served as the assistant coach at Columbia State Community College for the 2005-06 season, helping guide the Chargers to the conference championship game under head coach Malcolm Montgomery.
Joyner got his professional start in athletics in 2003, where he served as the administrative assistant/assistant strength coach for the men's basketball program at Tennessee State under Alexander. Before making the jump to collegiate athletics, Joyner was an assistant boys basketball coach at Centennial High School in Franklin, Tenn., for the 2002-03 season.
Joyner's familiarity with the Aggies comes from his playing career with S.C. State from 1993-96. He was part of the Bulldogs' 1995-96 championship team under Alexander. After leaving S.C. State, he competed professionally overseas.
Joyner holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from Middle Tennessee State. He is a native of Amityville, N.Y. He and his wife have three children.