|Jones Named New Baseball Coach At ASU|
|Written by Mike Flynn|
|Friday, 06 July 2012 10:27|
Billy Jones, an 18-year coaching veteran who has spent the last 14 seasons as a coach at four of college baseball’s most elite programs, has been named head baseball coach at Appalachian State University, director of athletics Charlie Cobb announced on Friday.
Jones, who comes to Appalachian State after eight seasons as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, replaces Chris Pollard, who was named the head coach at Duke last month. In his eight years at Oklahoma State (2005-12), Jones served as the program’s recruiting coordinator while working directly with the Cowboys’ hitters and outfielders. He helped lead OSU to eight-straight winning seasons, six NCAA Regional appearances, an NCAA Super Regional and a Big 12 Tournament championship. The Cowboys notched three 40-win campaigns, closed the season ranked among the nation’s top 25 three times and finished among the top four in the ultra-competitive Big 12 on five occasions during Jones’ eight years with the program.
As Oklahoma State’s recruiting coordinator, he led the efforts to bring 31 eventual Major League Baseball draftees and four future all-Americans into the program. Among his most notable recruits were first-team all-Americans Tyler Mach, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, and Andrew Heaney, who was selected No. 9 overall by the Miami Marlins in this year’s MLB Draft. In all, Jones recruited and coached the only Big 12 Player of the Year (Mach - 2006), Big 12 Pitcher of the Year (Heaney - 2012), Big 12 Newcomer of the Year (Zach Johnson - 2011) and Big 12 Freshman of the Year (Corey Brown - 2005) in OSU history.
As the Cowboys’ hitting coach, he oversaw a potent offensive attack that led the Big 12 in home runs five times and ranked among the league’s top two clubs in batting average six times. Seven players that he coached at OSU have gone on to play in the Major Leagues, which is more Major Leaguers than any other Big 12 program has produced over the last eight years.
Prior to his arrival at Oklahoma State, Jones was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at NC State from 2002-04. His reputation as one of the nation’s top recruiters began at NC State, where he brought in 21 players that would go on to be selected in the MLB Draft and six that would earn all-America recognition. On the field, the Wolfpack put together three-straight winning seasons and earned two NCAA Regional berths with Jones on the bench, highlighted by a 45-18 campaign in 2003 that culminated with the program’s first NCAA Regional championship since 1968.
For his efforts at NC State, Jones was named one of five finalists for Baseball America’s National Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2003 and was promoted to assistant head coach for his final season in 2004.
His Division I coaching career began with two seasons as an assistant coach at Oregon State (1999 and 2000), followed by one season at Arizona State (2001), coaching infielders at both schools. Following his only season at Arizona State, he served as head coach of the Brewster Whitecaps of the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League in the summer of 2001, where he was also selected to manage in the CCBL’s annual all-star game.
Jones started his coaching career in 1995 at Green River Community College, in Auburn, Wash., serving as an assistant coach for two seasons (1995-96) before taking over as head coach for the 1997 and ‘98 campaigns. He was named the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Western Region Coach of the Year after leading the Gators to a regional championship in 1998, when his squad hit .342 with 60 home runs in just 36 games and 11 players earned all-region recognition. He also coached the Western Region club to victory in the 1998 NWAACC all-star game.
A native of Kent, Wash., Jones played collegiately at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Wash., where he hit .433 as a freshman in 1988, and Bellvue Community College in Bellvue, Wash. before transferring to NCAA Division I Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) for his final collegiate season. He earned a bachelor of science in liberal studies from Oregon State in 2001. Jones and his wife, Tiffani, have two sons: Ryder (17) and Utah (15).
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