Former Spitfires coach diagnosed with ALS
An NHL assistant coach who previously led the Windsor Spitfires to battle is about to fight his biggest one yet.
The Ottawa Senators announced Tuesday that assistant coach Bob Jones has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
“He’s been having some issues earlier in the year and then got tested probably about three weeks ago, a month maybe,” said Senators Head Coach D.J. Smith, who has also coached in Windsor. “He was diagnosed but then wanted to get a bunch of different tests from different people. He’s had three now and they have diagnosed him with ALS.”
Smith also told NHL.com that Smith is one of the Senators’ most-respected members and is a players’ coach.
“I’ve known him for a long time. Players love him. Just right now, his wife, his kids, all of his friends,” said Smith. “He’s just a guy who’s cared about players for decades.”
Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion said that Jones wanted to go public with his situation to help raise awareness for ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that results in the gradual loss of motor neurons that control voluntary muscles.
Dorion added that Jones will continue with his usual coaching duties in Ottawa.
Jones, 53, has been on Smith’s staff in Ottawa since 2019. He coached the Spitfires during the 2010-2011 season and was an assistant under Bob Boughner for the Spits’ 2009 and 2010 Memorial Cup-winning squads. He and his family make their off-season home in Tecumseh.