Clarksville, Ark.-University of the Ozarks women's basketball coach Jack Jones has resigned from the university to pursue other business opportunities.
Jones compiled a record of 368-280 in 25 seasons as the head coach of the Lady Eagles. His 2003-04 Lady Eagles team went 10-15 overall and 6-8 in the American Southwest Conference. "It’s time in my life for a change," said Jones. "When you’ve had success and then you don’t have as much success, you begin to look at other things you might possibly be doing. I have a great opportunity to do something different and I look forward to that new chapter in my life. " Jones, a 1979 graduate of Ozarks, served as the university’s athletics director from 1986-2003. He has also coached the men’s golf team at Ozarks since 1988. His Lady Eagles basketball teams had 15 winning seasons, including three 20-plus win campaigns. He was named the ASC Coach of the Year for the 1996-97 season after leading Ozarks to an ASC championship in the league’s first season of competition. The Lady Eagles also won a conference East Division co-championship in 2001-02. With more than 350 wins, Jones is among the winningest active coaches in NCAA Division III. In the quarter of a century at the helm of the Ozarks program, Jones coached seven All-Americans, 30 all-conference players and graduated more than 90 percent of his players. "The success I’ve had in coaching is not from my coaching ability, but from the student-athletes I’ve had the privilege to work with," he said. "I’ve had great athletes and great people. It’s very rewarding to see the players I’ve coached go on to become successful teachers, business leaders, administrators and coaches, and to know I played a small role in that." A native of La Harpe, Ill., Jones played basketball at Ozarks and served as an assistant with the men’s program for one year before being tabbed to head the women’s basketball program at the university in 1979. He was named the NAIA District 17 Coach of the Year in 1994 after leading Ozarks to a 25-6 mark, the best season in school history. He was also named District 17 Administrator of the Year. "It’s been an incredible honor to have coached against some of the real legends in this state, such as Joe Foley at Arkansas Tech, Ron Marvel at UCA, Alvy Early at UAM, Jim Dickerson at Tech and Jim Yeager at Tech," Jones said. "From an administrative standpoint, it’s also been an honor to have worked with people such as Cliff Garrison at Hendrix, the late W.T. Watson at SAU and Terry Garner from Lyon Collge. Also, I’ve learned a great deal with many of the coaches I’ve worked with here at Ozarks like Johnny Johnson, Matt O’Connor, Jerry Wagoner and Lonnie Qualls. I’ve learned a lot from all of those coaches I have the utmost respect for those individuals as well as the administrators and presidents at Ozarks that I’ve worked under."