By: Director of Athletic Communications and Public Relations Kevin Ruple
BEREA, Ohio – When Julie Jones '92 played softball at Baldwin Wallace University, she was known as a fierce but fair competitor who loved winning, hated losing but kept the philosophy of the NCAA Division III student-athlete in perspective. Jones was simply an outstanding scholar-athlete and now a successful head coach. For her efforts, Jones was recently elected to the Akron Softball Hall of Fame
Today, Jones is one of the most successful college softball coaches ever in Northeast Ohio. The Akron Garfield High School graduate was listed as one of the top 40 all-time softball players of influence in Summit County and she also is a member of the Summit County Hall of Fame. Her jersey was retired at Garfield H.S.
Jones coached at NCAA Division I Cleveland State University from 1993 through 2005, won a school-record 244 games and was the 1997 Midwest Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year. She led the program to its first-ever NCAA Div. I Tournament berth in '97 and departed as CSU's winningest coach in the history of the athletics department. She mentored 34 all-conference players and three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.
In 2005, Jones was named head coach at the University of Akron where she begins her 12th season this coming spring. According to the UA web site, Jones' mission is simple, to build smarter students, stronger athletes and better people. She has mentored 19 All-MAC honorees, five NCAA All-Mideast Region selections, 32 Academic All-MAC student-athletes, eight Academic All-District selections, and two Academic All-Americans, the 2014 MAC Pitcher of the Year, the 2016 prestigious MAC Nan Harvey award winner, and the 2017 MAC Freshman of the Year.
Continuing to prove that UA's team is comprised of true student-athletes, Jones demonstrated her desire to build her players as individuals of character and discipline as her team ranks at the top of Akron's 19 intercollegiate teams in grade point average. Jones' teams have ranked in the top-20 in NCAA Div. I team GPA 16 times in her 21-year tenure as an assistant or head coach.
Along with athletic and academic achievements, Jones always stresses the importance of giving back to the community as the team continues to contribute to many community projects over the years, including Make a Difference Day with the University Park Alliance, conducting sports clinics at local elementary schools, and working with the Summit County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center, Project EdBear and many other philanthropic activities.
At BW as a student and athlete, Jones graduated from B-W with a degree in Speech, Communication and Theatre and earned a master's degree at CSU in Applied Communication Theory and Methodology in 2001. She was a leader on and off the softball field. The two-time team captain led by-example and helped the Yellow Jackets make their first-ever NCAA Div. III Tournament fast-pitch appearance in 1992. Individually, Jones was an All-Central Region and All-Ohio Athletic Conference selection as a catcher and was a four-year starter
A standout in the classroom, she was a two-time National Fast-Pitch Softball Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete and a three-time Academic All-OAC selection. In 1992 she was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District IV team and earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honorable mention accolades. She was inducted into the B-W Athletic Hall of Fame in the fall of 2003.
A member of the USA TODAY Top 25 Coaches Poll, she also serves on the Board of Directors of the BW Brown & Gold Club, is a graduate of the NACWAA/HERS institute for Administrative Advancement and serves on the Women's Board of the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center. Jones is also a graduate of Leadership Akon and a member of the Leadership Akron Alumni Association.