Jones steps down after 21 seasons as Tusculum baseball coach

Doug Jones steps down after 21 seasons as Tusculum baseball coach
Doug Jones steps down after 21 seasons as Tusculum baseball coach

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- After 21 seasons and more than 700 victories at the helm of the Tusculum baseball program, head coach Doug Jones announced Monday night that he is stepping down as Pioneer skipper.  Jones will continue in his current role as Tusculum's vice president of student success and athletics.

Jones coached in his final Tusculum game on Sunday where the Pioneers lost to Anderson in an elimination game of the Pilot/Flying J South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championship to wrap up the 2018 campaign.

"On behalf of the College, I am very appreciative with the outstanding job Coach Jones has done in leading our baseball program," said Dr. James Hurley, president of Tusculum. "He has been a credit to our institution and has served as an outstanding ambassador for our students and our alumni. We are excited in his transitioning full time as vice president of student success and athletics and I am confident he will serve and represent our student body well for many years to come."

Jones, the winningest coach in Tusculum history, finishes with career record of 705-412 for a .631 winning percentage. Since his arrival on the Greeneville, Tennessee campus in 1997, he led the Pioneers to 18 winning seasons, including a run of 17 consecutive winning campaigns from 2001-2017.  His 676 wins since 1999 are the second most by South Atlantic Conference baseball coach.

"It truly has been an honor to serve as Tusculum's head baseball coach for the past 21 years.  God has blessed me and has given me the opportunity to work with some quality student-athletes, coaches and administrators.  I would like to thank all of our players and it was an honor to be called your coach," Jones said. "(Former athletic director) Dr. Jim Fields and the committee took a chance on me in 1997 and I will forever be grateful."

Jones was named interim director of athletics in the fall of 2015 and assumed the position on a permanent basis in the spring of 2016. His duties were expanded in the fall of 2017 as he took on the role of vice president of student success and athletics.

"I would be remiss if I did not thank my family.  They have sacrificed so much over the years and supported me throughout it all.  My wife Dawn has given up her pursuits so I could coach and do what I have loved to do.  I could not have accomplished anything without her unconditional love and support," said Jones. "I look forward to serving the students of our great institution as vice president of student success and athletics."

He led the Pioneers to 15 consecutive 30-win seasons from 2003-2017, including five times with 40 or more victories.  Over the last 14 seasons, Tusculum went an amazing 512-239-1 (.682), including five South Atlantic Conference Championships, four SAC Tournament titles and seven trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament.

"I would like to thank all of my assistant coaches over the years. They have poured their heart and soul into our program," acknowledged Jones. "Todd Ireland and Brandon Steele have been with me for the majority of this journey, and we could not have accomplished what we have without their dedication."

Jones mentored 20 All-Americans, 47 All-Region honorees, 92 All-SAC players, four SAC Players of the Year, two SAC Freshmen of the Year and five SAC Pitchers of the Year. Fifty-three (53) Pioneers have  garnered SAC All-Tournament distinction during his watch, including four tournament most valuable players.  Since 2004, 30 Pioneers have or are still playing professional baseball.

Jones has stressed academics with his teams resulting in a league record eight SAC Scholar Athletes of the Year, four CoSIDA Academic All-Americans®, including including Taylor Rakes who was named the Academic All-American® of the Year.

He has been the recipient of the Art Argauer Award four times recognizing the Tusculum Coach of the Year, as by his coaching peers at the College.

Jones has been very active nationally in the coaching profession, serving on the NCAA II Baseball Championship selection committee and is a member of the American Baseball Coaches' Association (ABCA).  From 2014-2016, he served as the national chair for the NCAA II Baseball Committee.

He is married to the former Dawn Roshto of Norfolk, Virginia, and they are the proud parents of two daughters; Katlyn and Allison.  Katlyn will be joining the Tusculum women's soccer team this coming fall.

Jones indicated that a national search for his successor would begin immediately.