3/12/2010 - Softball Coach Lee Jones hits nine year mark, anticipates great season
By Elizabeth Tucker
When asked how much of a change it was after coaching young men for so long to begin coaching at a woman's college, Coach Lee Jones laughed.
"Well you know, women are from Venus," he said, "and men are . . . ."
His sentence trailed off, and he didn't have to finish the quote since it's common knowledge that John Gray proposed "men are from Mars" in his 1992 book.
Judson was a major change for Jones, but a good one, he said.
Jones has coached "on and off" for forty years, he said. Before coming to Judson he was the football and baseball coach at Catherine Academy, a Wilcox County high school that is now closed. He also served as headmaster. Previously he coached at Dixie Academy in Louisville, Ala. and at Wallace Community College in Selma.
Jones attended Troy University and played baseball for four years before graduating with a business and history degree. He then earned a master's degree in adult education from Troy.
The year Jones came to Judson was a momentous year, he said, since he married a few months before. A widower, he met and married his current wife, the former Kay Oakes, also widowed.
"I asked my friend Donald Harris (now pastor at Friendship Baptist Church in Perry County) to marry us," he said, "but he wasn't sure he could do it since he'd not yet been ordained. So pastor Cecil Smith of Pine Flat Baptist Church in Suttle assisted. It's interesting that it took two preachers to marry me and Kay, so I guess you could say we're thoroughly married!"
The Joneses live in Selma with five children and five grandchildren nearby. They remain active at Coach Jones' lifelong church, Safford Baptist, where he serves as a deacon and an adult Sunday School teacher. He also manages to raise a few cattle in his spare time.
Jones said he enjoys coaching all sports, though he's most experienced in softball. He does enjoy basketball, he said, because "it's fast paced."
Jones has high expectations for the current softball season at Judson. He feels the girls have a lot of potential and hopes for better weather conditions for practicing and playing after so much rain this year.
The Judson team competed in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association national tournament for the past four years and Jones wants a repeat performance.
"Judson girls are very team-oriented and they give a lot to their sport," he said.
Jones said his teams are getting better every year and he has some very fine prospective students in try-outs.
"Judson College is a good place to work and a good place to be," he said.
Photo caption: Lee Jones pictured with Judson athletes.
* Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.