Jessica Jones assumed the role of Interim Head Coach in July 2018. She previously had been the Associate Head Coach since August 2014 and has been part of the Cougar softball staff since July 2013.
In her time on the Cougar sidelines, Jones has seen a number of SIUE historic firsts.
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.
Jones was on the front line of Head Coach Sandy Montgomery's 1,000th career win. The Cougars have won 142 times in the past four seasons, including 40-plus wins during the 2015 and 2017 seasons.
SIUE also has advanced to the championship game of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in each of Jones' four seasons. The Cougars won the Conference title in 2014 and won the regular season OVC title in 2015.
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).
The Cougars have placed 12 players with All-OVC honors since Jones' arrival. That includes outfielder Alyssa Heren, who earned honors in each of her first two seasons with the Cougars.
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. Chambers was named third team All-Mideast Region, and SIUE dominated the league's top postseason awards with Chambers being named the OVC Pitcher of the Year and Baylee Douglass being named the OVC Freshman of the Year. Douglass also was among the nation's top 25 finalists for National Fastpitch Coaches Association Freshman of the Year.
During the 2014 season, 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 add three more players on the All-OVC Tournament team with third baseman Alex McDavid, first baseman Kayla Riggs, and shortshop Chelsea Yankolovich.
She 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).