Green Wave sits at 20-20 on the season
Green Wave wins the First NBC Cup in victory
Randy LeBlanc gets his second straight win on the mound, Bowen Woodson makes great plays at second base
Team will play in Monroe on Tuesday at noon before returning home to face UNO on Wednesday
Wind plays a factor after storms clear the area
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The Jones File | The Word On Rick Jones
The winningest coach in Tulane history, Rick Jones enters his 20th season at the helm of the Green Wave. A staple in college baseball, Jones has manned the dugout for 31 years as a collegiate coach and 38 as a coach overall. Jones has lived a life of baseball and the game has given him multiple lifetime's worth of accolades and success stories both on and off the field.
Since taking over as head coach prior to the 1994 season, Jones has led Tulane to the NCAA Regionals in 12 of his 19 seasons. His postseason résumé includes a school-record nine consecutive trips from 1998-2006, three regional championships and trips to the College World Series in 2001 and 2005.
Jones was appointed the head coach of the 2009 United States Collegiate National Team on July 8, 2008. He guided the Red, White & Blue to the championship of the 2009 Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge at Prince George Citizen Field in British Columbia, posting a 5-1 record in the tournament. Jones' squad grabbed the title with a 5-2 victory over Canada in the championship game.
Under Jones' tutelage, Tulane has ten seasons of 40 or more victories, including school-record 56-win seasons during both CWS years. His 2001 club set the school mark for winning percentage at .812 (56-13) and the 2005 club was a shade better at .823 (56-12).
In a 2007 study done by Baseball America, Tulane has had the most meteoric rise among college baseball programs from 1999 through the end of the 2006 season. The Green Wave rose 66 spots and ranked 16th among Division I programs following the inception of the Super Regional. Baseball America honored the Green Wave again that January, naming Tulane one of 16 teams nationally to receive an "A" impact rating based on overall performance both on and off the field since the NCAA tournament field was expanded to 64 in 1999.
Sixty-one Green Wave players have earned all-conference honors on 89 occasions, including 54 first-team selections, and 25 have claimed C-USA All-Freshman Team recognition.
The winningest coach in C-USA history, Jones was named C-USA Coach of the Decade in 2005 after helping Tulane win four Conference USA regular-season championships and the C-USA Tournament a league-record five times. A league-high four Tulane players were named to the C-USA All-Decade team - Michael Aubrey, Jake Gautreau, James Jurries and Chad Sutter - and Gautreau was named Player of the Decade.
Seven of the 17 C-USA Players of the Year have come from Tulane, including a five-year streak from 1999-2003, to give the Green Wave more than any other league team. In addition, six C-USA Freshman of the Year have donned a Green Wave jersey, while three Tulane standouts have been named conference's Pitcher of the Year.
Conference is not the only level to recognize the Tulane program, though. On the national scene, 22 players have received All-American recognition - including at least one every season from 1996-2006 - 16 players were named Freshman All-Americans, and five have earned positions on the USA Baseball National Team during the Jones era.
Professional scouts have also taken note on Jones' players as well. Major League Baseball teams have spent 49 draft picks on Tulane players - including five in the first-round - since 1994, and a total of 71 players have signed professional contracts.
While Tulane has achieved unprecedented success on the diamond under Jones, it has enjoyed the same amount of accolades in the classroom as Green Wave players have earned C-USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll recognition 218 times since 1996, which stands as a direct testament to the level of student-athlete Jones has been able to bring into the Tulane program.
Since 1994, six players have earned Academic All-America honors, including James Juries (2001), Tommy Manzella (2005) and Rob Segedin (2010) who became the first three Tulane student-athletes to earn athletic and academic All-America recognition in the same season. Brandon Boudreaux and Jeremy Schaffer became the first set of teammates in Tulane history to earn Academic All-America honors during the same season when they grabbed third-team and second-team honors, respectively.
Every player who played four years for Jones has completed their degree, and several have gone on to prominent roles in their post-graduate life. While baseball has been the career choice of some, the list of former Jones players include Major Leaguers, Major League general managers, radiologists, lawyers, state representatives, accountants and health care workers.
Jones' impact is not limited to his players, however, as four of his former assistants are now collegiate head coaches: Brian Cleary at Cincinnati, Jim Schlossnagle at TCU, Rob Cooper at Wright State and Mark Kingston at Illinois State. In addition, two of his former players are now college head coaches: Mike Kennedy at Elon and Steve Trimper at Maine.
For his contributions to college baseball, Jones has earned a trio of Conference USA Coach of the Year titles and has been named Louisiana Coach of the Year five times. Following the 2001 season, Jones earned his first Division I Coach of the Year award when he was named the American Baseball Coaches Association/Diamond Sport Company Division I South Region Coach of the Year and in 2005 he was honored as Baseball America's National Coach of the Year.
In 19 seasons with the Green Wave, Jones has tallied a 773-399-2 record (.660), including a 304-176-2 mark in conference play. A 6-0 victory over LeMoyne on Feb. 22, 2009 gave Jones his 642nd victory, making him the winningest coach in school history, surpassing Tulane legend Joe Brockhoff's record, which stood at 641 wins since Brockhoff's retirement following the 1993 season. On May 4, 2010 he posted his 700th victory as the Tulane skipper with an 8-5 victory against Louisiana Monroe.
Winning and national recognition are nothing new to Jones, though, as he has achieved success at every stop of his coaching journey. Including previous head coaching stints at Ferrum (Va.) College and Elon (N.C.) College, Jones has tallied 1,012 career head coaching victories. For most of his life, Jones has been around the baseball diamond and on April 8, 2011 in Orlando, Fla. he posted his 1,000th career head coaching victory. His 1,000th win came via a 10-8, come-from-behind victory over UCF.
Jones was also selected to help coach Team USA in 1990 where he served as the national team's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. Jones helped Team USA win the bronze medal at the Goodwill Games and earn the silver medal at the Presidential Cup in Taiwan.
As the assistant head coach at national power Georgia Tech from 1990-93, Jones coached the pitchers for four years and served as the Yellow Jackets' recruiting coordinator for three seasons. During his stint in Atlanta, Jones helped the Yellow Jackets to four consecutive NCAA Regionals, and his recruiting classes were nationally ranked each year and included the likes of Nomar Garciappara and Jay Payton.
Jones' pitching staffs posted team ERAs below 4.00 in three of his four seasons at Georgia Tech. The 1992 staff finished the season 10th in the NCAA in ERA, while the 1993 staff finished sixth, marking the first times in Georgia Tech's history that a pitching staff ranked among the national leaders.
Prior to joining the Georgia Tech staff, Jones served as the head coach at Elon College where he helped the then-Fighting Christians (Elon has since renamed its mascot the Phoenix) to a 174-61 record from 1985-89. His .743 winning percentage is the best of any coach in the school's athletic history. Jones' Elon clubs won four NAIA District 26 titles and made three trips to the NAIA World Series, ranking in the Top 10 each year. In 1989, Jones led Elon to a 36-9 record and earned National Coach of the Year recognition.
While at Elon, Jones was a three-time NAIA District Coach of the Year, and earned Regional Coach of the Year and Carolina Conference Coach of the year honors twice. In 1989, Jones was tabbed the National Coach of the Year, earned Diamond Baseball National Coach of the Year honors for NAIA schools, and was inducted to the Elon Hall of Fame in October 2004.
Jones' collegiate coaching career began at Ferrum College in Virginia where he led the Panthers to a 102-34-1 record from 1982-84, including a pair of Top 10 rankings. Jones began his coaching career at E.E. Smith High School in Fayetteville, N.C. and prior to his stop at E.E. Smith, Jones taught and coached in the Chatham County school system for three years.
A 1975 graduate of UNC-Wilmington, Jones was a two-year letterman on the Seahawk baseball team before earning his master's degree at North Carolina A&T in 1977. He also attended Sandhills Community College in North Carolina where he played for two seasons.
Jones is married to the former Gina Zwan, a special education teacher in the Jefferson Parish School system.