Jessica Jones was tabbed as SIUE softball’s permanent Head Coach in Jul 2019. Jones spent the 2019 season as the Interim Head Coach and has spent six seasons as part of the Cougars’ staff. Prior to receiving the Interim appointment, she spent four seasons as the Associate Head Coach.
In 2019, Jones led SIUE to its seventh consecutive appearance in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. The Cougars fell in the opening round to Eastern Kentucky, finishing the season 16-28.
The 2019 team also earned a combined grade-point average of 3.70, which led the entire athletics department and was a program-high in the NCAA Division I era.
The Cougars have amassed 183 wins in six seasons with Jones on staff and earned 40-plus win seasons in 2015 and 2017. SIUE appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2014 after winning the OVC Tournament and earning the automatic bid. The Cougars fell in the 2015 Championship game after winning the regular season OVC crown. From 2014-2017, SIUE made four consecutive appearances in the OVC Tournament Title game.
In her time in the Cougar dugout, Jones has been witness to a number of accomplishments.
SIUE pitcher Haley Chambers-Book became the first Cougar player to be drafted to play professionally. The left-handed pitcher also set the school record for career strikeouts.
During the 2017 season, the Cougars were a top 50 program nationally with a balanced approach of offense, defense and pitching. SIUE tossed two no-hitters, including the fifth career no-hitter for Chambers-Book and a shared no-hitter by Emily Ingles and Ashley Koziol. As a pitching staff, the Cougars finished with a 1.95 earned run average (20th nationally).
The SIUE defense ranked 14th nationally in fielding percentage (.976). SIUE's offense produced a .278 batting average that included 1.54 doubles per game (13th nationally).
In 2015, the Cougars finished the season with a Division I best 43 wins for the program. SIUE won its first OVC regular season title with an impressive 20-6 record in league play.
In her first season on staff in 2014, Jones was an integral part of SIUE's first-ever OVC Tournament title and appearance in the NCAA Division I Championship. Jones helped develop pitcher Chambers-Book, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the OVC Championship after winning consecutive games in the tournament over Tennessee Tech, Eastern Illinois, and Murray State. The Cougars also had three other players on the All-OVC Tournament team with third baseman Alex McDavid, first baseman Kayla Riggs, and shortshop Chelsea Yankolovich.
The Cougars have placed 15 players on All-OVC teams and 10 on OVC All-Newcomer teams since Jones' arrival.
Jones came to Edwardsville after serving as Associate Head Coach at Buffalo for five seasons. During her time with the Bulls, Jones acted as the team's offensive coach, pitching/catching coach, and recruiting coordinator. She coordinated travel, scouted opponents, conducted player evaluations, and managed the team budget. Jones served as the Bulls' acting head coach for the majority of the 2010 season.
On the field, Jones oversaw the development of five All-Mid-American Conference (MAC) performers, three All-MAC Freshman Team honorees, and helped the team make its first appearance in the MAC Tournament for the first time since 2004.
Prior to her stint at Buffalo, Jones worked as an assistant coach at Ohio University from 2005 to 2008. She helped lead the Bobcats to a third-place finish at the MAC Tournament in 2007 and a second-place finish in 2008.
At Ohio, Jones' main duties included serving as the Bobcats' pitching/catching coach, hitting coach, and recruiting coordinator. During the 2007 season, Ohio led the MAC in batting average under Jones' tutelage.
As a player, Jones was a four-year starter at Purdue from 1999 to 2003. She was the Boilermakers' starting third baseman as a freshman before starting at catcher for her remaining three seasons.
She served as Purdue's team captain from 2001-2003 and was honored as an All-Big Ten performer during her senior season as well as an all-region honoree as a freshman.
After her collegiate playing career came to an end Jones maintained her presence within the Purdue softball program, serving as a student assistant coach for the 2004 season.
Jones also gained experience as a player/coach for the Division A1 Italian Professional Women's Softball team in Bologna, Italy, in 2005. While overseas, Jones played catcher and third base while also assisting with practice planning and game strategy.
She holds a master's in business administration from Ohio (2008) as well as a bachelor's in public relations from Purdue (2003).