After 14 years of being an assistant coach, Billy Jones will now get his first shot at being a head coach at a Division 1 college baseball program.
Appalachian State University announced the decision on Friday to hire Jones as the next head baseball coach of the Mountaineers. Jones replaced former coach Chris Pollard, who accepted the head coaching job at Duke last month.
Jones had spent the previous eight years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State University.
OSU had a winning record each season Jones was an assistant, and the team had 31 players picked in the Major League Baseball draft, thanks in large part to Jones and his recruiting abilities.
This is not Jones’ first coaching stop in the state of North Carolina. The Mountaineer head coach was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at NC State from 2002 through 2004. In just three short seasons, Jones saw 21 of his recruits become part of MLB teams, while six of them earned NCAA All-American recognition. Jones was also named one of five finalists for the National Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2003.
A Washington native, Jones started his collegiate baseball career at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Wash., before moving on to Bellvue Community College. His final season of baseball was spent at Texas State before he began his coaching career not long after in 1995 at Green River Community College.
Jones will be taking over a program coming off of an outstanding 2012 season. The Mountaineers had a record of 41-18, which set a school record for wins. App State also won its first Southern Conference Championship since 1987 and earned its first postseason appearance since 1986.
ASU finished the season ranked 29th in the country.