WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Wake Forest assistant basketball coach has resigned eight months after police said he punched a New York City tourist who later died.

Jamill Jones announced his resignation Friday, saying his decision "is in the best interest of both the team and me personally."

Jones released this statement through a Wake Forest news release Friday: “I believe it is in the best interest of both the team and me personally that I resign from my position. It is my sincerest hope and desire that stepping down now will allow the student-athletes, coaches and administration at Wake Forest to focus fully on their studies and on the season ahead, without distraction, while I focus all of my attention and energy on resolving my legal case.”

Wake Forest Asst. Coach Accused of Throwing Punch That Led to Death of NYC Tourist

In the same news release, Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning said, "This decision is in the best interest for both our program and Jamill. I appreciate everyone on our staff who took on extra responsibilities during Jamill’s leave and we are committed to finding a great addition to complete our coaching staff."

Jones had been on leave since Aug. 10. Police say Jones punched digital marketing guru Sandor Szabo early on Aug. 5, causing him to fall and smash his head on a sidewalk in Queens, New York.

Jones has pleaded not guilty to a charge of misdemeanor assault. His next court date is May 6.

He says resigning will eliminate a distraction from the program "while I focus all of my attention and energy on resolving my legal case."