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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
USA Olympic Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones To Head ASU Wrestling Program
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 04/09/2014
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Former Three-Time Sun Devil All-American Is New AD Ray Anderson’s First Coaching Hire

TEMPE, Ariz.—USA Wrestling National Freestyle coach Zeke Jones has been tabbed to become the next head coach of the Arizona State wrestling program, athletics director Ray Anderson announced on Wednesday. His appointment will commence pending approval from the Arizona Board of Regents.

“I think it’s a tremendous day for the sport of wrestling in the state of Arizona,” Anderson said. “The hire of Zeke Jones makes a statement to the wrestling community within our state that Arizona State University is seeking to reestablish its program among the elite in the country. We are thrilled to welcome Zeke back to his alma mater.”

“I’ve known Zeke Jones since he was a student-athlete here,” senior associate athletic director Don Bocchi said. “I’ve certainly been proud of his accomplishments throughout his coaching career and his career as a world-class athlete. He is one of the most accomplished coaches in the sport. There are few people in any sport that have single-name recognition. In the sport of wrestling, when you say Zeke, you don’t have to say Jones, and that’s worldwide. That says something to his accomplishments both as an athlete and as a coach.”

“It was always my goal to come back to college wrestling,” Jones said. “Six years ago, Rich Bender (USA Wrestling Executive Director) and I talked about serving our country and getting our freestyle program back on track. I wanted to take on that challenge. I feel we are at a better place than we were. Now, I am ready for a new challenge, helping elevate Arizona State’s program into one of the best in the country and position its wrestlers for success on all levels of competition.”

The seventh head coach in Arizona State program history, Jones is also an Olympic silver medalist for the United States, the 1991 World Champion at 52kg, a four-time World-Cup Champion, and coached United States’ Olympians in the 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2012 Olympic Games.

As Olympic head coach, Jones’ athletes earned two gold medals and one bronze at the London Games in 2012. His athletes in the 2004 Athens Games, where he was the freestyle coach, earned a gold and two silvers.

In the four World Championships during Jones’ tenure, USA placed third in the 2011 World Championships, fifth in 2013, and seventh in 2009. He also led USA to five individual World Champion medals, including two-time World champion Jordan Burroughs.

The United States competed in three Freestyle World Cups during the Jones era, placing third in 2012 and 2013, and sixth in 2010. During the Jones staff era, USA won eight Junior World medals, five University World medals and four Cadet World medals.

Jones came to USA Wrestling after coaching at the University of Pennsylvania from 2005-07, where he amassed a record of 33-17-1. Following the 2006 campaign that saw an NCAA Champion, two All-Americans, two Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) champions, and a third-place finish at the EIWA Championships, Amateur Wrestling News named Jones the Rookie Head Coach of the Year.

Prior to coaching at Penn he served on the coaching staffs at West Virginia, Arizona State, and Bloomsburg University.  Jones coached teams that have finished in the NCAA Final Four twice, in the top-10 four times and won six conference team championships. Individually his wrestlers have won six NCAA titles, eight NCAA finalists, 36 individual conference champions, 29 All Americans, 74 NCAA Qualifiers, and 11 wrestlers have competed in the NWCA All Star Meet. 

A member of ASU’s 1988 NCAA Championship team, Jones was a three-time All-American and Pac-10 Champion for the Sun Devils. A national runner-up at 118, Jones sits at No. 4 in ASU’s career record book in both overall victories (134) and dual victories (59). He also holds the school record for dual match victories in a season with 22 during the 1989-90 campaign.

Originally from Ann Arbor, Mich., Jones is a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, member of the Arizona State University Hall of Fame, and Michigan Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Jones and his wife, Renee, have four children, Jessica, David, Rebecca, and Jacob.

Jones’ hire is also pending approval from the Arizona State University Human Resources Office.

Coaching Accomplishments
▪       Head Coach, United States Freestyle Wrestling Team
▪       Head Coach, 2004 US Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Team
▪       Head Coach, 2003 Pan American Games Team
▪       2001 National Freestyle Coach of the Year, USA Wrestling
▪       Head Coach, 2001 World Championship Team
▪       Head Coach, 2000 World Cup Team
▪       Assistant Coach, 2001 World Cup Team
▪       Coaching Staff, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games
▪       Coach, 2000 Pan American Championships
▪       Head Coach, 2000 NCAA International All-Star Team
▪       Assistant Coach, 1999 NCAA International All-Star Team
▪       Head Coach, 1998 World Cup Team Champions

Wrestling and Leadership Accomplishments
▪       Winner of FILA’s “World’s Most Technical Wrestler” – 1 of 3 American’s to win the award (John Smith and Chris Campbell)
▪       1991 World Champion
▪       1992 Olympic Silver Medalist
▪       Four time World Cup Champion
▪       Six time National Champion
▪       Pan American Games Gold Medalist
▪       Goodwill Games Gold Medalist
▪       1995 World Bronze Medalist
▪       NCAA Division I National Team Champions member, 1988
▪       NCAA Division I National Team Runner Up member, 1989, 1990
▪       World Championships Team Champions, member, 1993 and 1995
▪       Eight time World and Olympic Team Member
▪       Espoir National Champion and Outstanding Wrestler
▪       Espoir World Silver Medalist
▪       NCAA Finalist and three time NCAA All-American
▪       Three time PAC 10 Champion
▪       Midlands Champion
▪       Pac 10 Tournament Grand Marshall
▪       Distinguished Member, National Wrestling Hall of Fame
▪       Member, Arizona State University Hall of Fame
▪       Member, Michigan Wrestling Hall of Fame
▪       Runner Up, Man of the Year, Amateur Wrestling News
▪       USOC Board of Directors Member
▪       USA Wrestling Board of Directors Member
▪       Chairman, Athlete Advisory Council, USA Wrestling

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