UI Loses the Itch

i.gif
Maybe others saw this coming but this came as a surprise.
p-Jones.jpg

UI Baseball coach Richard “Itch” Jones has decided to retire after 15 years as Illinois coach and 39 years of college coaching.

Then again, there’s something to be said for getting out while you’re on top. Itch led the Illini to a Big Ten title and he won the Big Ten Coach of the Year award in 2005.

Jones is 13th all-time among Division I coaches in wins with a 1,240-752-6 record. His other achievements:

Coaching Honors

2005 Big Ten Coach of the Year
1998 ABCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year
Big Ten Coach of the Year
1990 NCAA Division I Diamond Baseball Coach of the Year
1978 The Sporting News National Coach of the Year
1971 Adirondack National Coach of the Year

Team Accomplishments
2 Big Ten Regular Season Titles (1998, 2005)
1 Big Ten Tournament Title (2000)
8 Missouri Valley Conference Titles (1975, ’76, ’77, ’78, ’81, ’84, ’86, ’90)
3 College World Series appearances (1971, ’74, ’77)
12 NCAA Regional Appearances (1970, ’71, ’73, ’74, ’76, ’77, ’78, ’81, ’86, ’90, ’98, ’00)

Hall of Fame Inductions
American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame
Southern Illinois University Hall of Fame
MacMurray College Hall of Fame
Illinois High School Association Baseball Hall of Fame
Illinois High School Association Basketball Hall of Fame
Jacksonville High School Hall of Fame
Herrin High School Athletic Hall of Fame
(Source: fightingillini.collegesports.com)

He managed 40 players who went on to play professional baseball including 22 major leaguers.

I always had a good view of Coach Jones from where I stood at ball games since Jones was third base coach. I enjoyed hearing him yell back encouragements, suggestions or perhaps even comments on the umpiring back to the home dugout.

Thanks, Coach!

No tags for this post.

3 Responses to “UI Loses the Itch”

  1. My dad played for Itch when he was a kid in Jacksonville. I had the pleasure of meeting him on a trip Illinois made to MSU when I was in middle school. While I never made it past H.S. Baseball, I’ll remember the confidence Itch instilled in me. Thanks Coach.

  2. My dad played for Itch when he was a kid in Jacksonville. I had the pleasure of meeting him on a trip Illinois made to MSU when I was in middle school. While I never made it past H.S. Baseball, I’ll remember the confidence Itch instilled in me. Thanks Coach.

  3. hey Andrew,
    I’ve heard nothing but good things about Itch Jones.

    Coach Hartleb holds him in high esteem, I know that.

    Tom

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment