Developing a dream


Photo Courtesy of Jay Flores '07

Jay Flores ’07 (second from the left) pictured with the coaching staff of the University of Montana after winning the Big Sky Championship.

Jesuit High School is known to produce men who go out into the world and act upon the ideals of responsibility, leadership, and devotion. Jay Flores ’07 embodies what Jesuit instills in its graduates, living out what he has learned as a Marauder at the University of Montana as an assistant basketball coach.

Jay played a key role for some of Jesuit’s most decorated teams, culminating in the 2006-2007 season when Jay and his teammates achieved a 32-2 record and a sixth place ranking in California.

During his basketball career at Jesuit, Jay was joined by many talented teammates including standouts like Chris Blees ’07 (Sac Bee Player of the Year), Rod Hawkins ’07, James Edwards ’07, Tyler Garnett ’07, and Mat Rice ’07.

Jay believes Jesuit played an instrumental role in his growth as a basketball player.

“I was lucky enough to be a part of some pretty good teams while I was there, and I think that changed my overall approach to the game,” Jay said. “I wanted to get as good as I possibly could so that I could help us achieve our potential.”

In his senior season, Jay averaged 10 points, six assists, three rebounds, and three steals per game, all while acting as the vocal leader on the 39th best team in the nation. Jay’s leadership skills led him to his job at the University of Montana, and the journey to his current position took him all over.

“I graduated from Chico State in May of 2012,” Jay said. “I played a year in Mexico for the 2012-2013 season for Soles De Mexicali. I then became the assistant coach at Cal State East Bay from 2013-2016. Then in the 2016-2017 season, I was director of basketball operations at Montana. From 2017-present, I’ve been an assistant coach.”

This season, the University of Montana men’s basketball team finished first in the Big Sky Conference, earning a bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Currently, Jay balances a handful of responsibilities as an assistant coach.

“I am the main academic coach on staff, so I meet weekly with the guys about their academics, and I also help run study halls,” Jay said. “Obviously, I am always actively recruiting because that portion of the job never really stops.”

Even though he is extremely busy running Montana’s recruitment and academic support systems, Jay still remembers his roots and the love he felt at Jesuit.

“Overall, the thing I remember the most is the people,” Jay said. “My coaches, teammates, classmates, teachers, etc. There were a lot of people who supported me and helped me grow as a person and as a player during my time there and I’m so grateful for every single one.”

Those closest to Jay during his time at Jesuit remember him for his relentless effort in the gym and at practice as well as his leadership.

“Jay was the hardest working player who has ever played Jesuit basketball,” said Coach Mr. Jon Rotz ’92, the assistant director of admissions, current assistant varsity basketball coach, and former point guard at Jesuit. “He worked hard physically and, more importantly, he worked hard mentally and emotionally to lead his teammates. He always put the team’s goals ahead of his own personal goals.”

Jay had a relentless work ethic and an untaught passion from the start.