The Ottawa Senators announced Tuesday that assistant coach Bob Jones, 53, has been diagnosed with ALS. In a statement released by Senators general manager Pierre Dorion, he said Jones will continue coaching for now.
“A devoted member of our family, Bob Jones, has been diagnosed with ALS,” Dorion said in his statement. “Bob and his family’s wishes are to take the courageous step of making his condition public in an effort to drive ALS awareness as he fights this disease.
“We have been working internally with Bob and his family as he takes on this challenge; while Bob will continue with his coaching duties, he has the full support of the organization to take any time he needs away from the club during the season to concentrate on his health and his family.”
According to Mayo Clinic, ALS, short for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is “a progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control.”
Jones and his family made the news public because they hope to use his diagnosis as an opportunity to raise awareness for ALS research. The family has asked those looking to support Jones to make donations to the ALS Society of Canada or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Jones was hired by Senators head coach D.J. Smith in 2019, and he has been an assistant on the coaching staff ever since. He previously worked in the AHL and coached in the OHL for more than two decades.
Chris Snow, the assistant general manager of the Calgary Flames, also has ALS. He was diagnosed in January 2020.