Ottawa Senators assistant coach Bob Jones has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the team announced Tuesday.
Per the Mayo Clinic, ALS is a “progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control.”
Jones, 53, is in his fourth season as an assistant coach with Ottawa. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said Jones will continue his coaching duties while dealing with what is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“A devoted member of our family, Bob Jones, has been diagnosed with ALS,” Dorion said. “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.”
Per the Senators, Jones’ family has asked that those interested in contributions consider both the ALS Society of Canada and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“The thoughts and well wishes of the entire National Hockey League family are with Ottawa Senators’ assistant coach Bob Jones and his family,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “We admire his courage in making his battle with ALS public and we will support him and his family in this fight.”
Jones and his wife, Paige, have two children — Blake and Brianna.