Former Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones earns hall of fame induction

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Former Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones earns hall of fame induction

Rick Jones was the head coach at Tulane for 21 seasons (1994-2014) and will be inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2017.

Rick Jones was the head coach at Tulane for 21 seasons (1994-2014) and will be inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2017.

Rick Jones was the head coach at Tulane for 21 seasons (1994-2014) and will be inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2017.

Rick Jones was the head coach at Tulane for 21 seasons (1994-2014) and will be inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2017.

Jordan Figueredo, Senior Staff Reporter Emily Carmichael

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Recognized as the most successful baseball head coach in Tulane history and one of the best in Louisiana, former coach Rick Jones has just been named to the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

As of late 2013, Jones was one of only 15 baseball coaches to win over 800 games with a single team. He led the Green Wave to 12 NCAA appearances, three NCAA Super Regional appearances and two showings at the College World Series over the course of his 21-season career with Tulane. In 2009, Jones was appointed the head coach for the United States Collegiate National team.  

“I will tell you this, Tulane was my dream job,” Jones said. “I mean I worked 18 years and I was junior high coach, high school coach, junior college coach, NAIA Coach, assistant at Georgia Tech. I did everything for 18 years trying to get my dream job and Tulane became my dream job and I’ve said that over and over again.” 

While serving as a head coach, Jones acquired a record of 1,094-538-3 with his overall record at Tulane being 818-445-2. In 2005, he was named National Coach of the Year by Baseball America after a 56-12 season with the Wave as well as being named Coach of the Decade.

“Coach Jones makes everyone around him a better player, better coach or a better fan,” Mark Hamilton, former St. Louis Cardinals first baseman said. “He conducts himself with the utmost professionalism and demands nothing less from his players. His ability to work with and develop players allows him to have a winning team every year.”

Jones became one of the most decorated collegiate baseball coaches in the sport during his tenure with the Wave. In addition, he is also the winningest coach in Tulane history and was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. 

“I was in the kid business of 39 years and when you’re in that, you can’t take it lightly,” Jones said. “You’re coaching kids. . . You have to be very careful of what you do, what you say and how you do it. . . You’re have to be careful because you’re trying to shape people.” 

The success Jones has is more than just on the Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. The Major League Baseball Association spent 54 draft picks on Tulane players, including five first round selections. 

“Coach Jones not only taught me many great things about baseball, he taught me the most important thing a collegiate athlete can learn, and that’s how to be a better person,” Michael Aubrey, former first round draft pick of Cleveland, said. 

Even as his players turn in their Green Wave jerseys for a new team, a new home and a new coach, Jones says he will always be there for them.

“I get calls all the time and text messages,” Jones said. “Obviously I’m really proud of them. When you coach as long I have, you have a lot of players that are out there. I love it when I get a call or text, or I’m on Facebook and I see one of [their children is] having a birthday, you know that sort of thing, that’s part of coaching.”

To be inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame is a lifetime accomplishment and one of which Jones is very appreciative.

“I was very surprised and I’m extremely honored,” Jones said. “I’m honored on behalf of all the people I’ve worked for over the years. This wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have the opportunity to have success at Tulane.”