One of the longest-tenured and most-respected track and field coaches in junior college history, Hutchinson Community College assistant coach Steve Jones continues working with the Blue Dragon program in a partnership that moves into its 41st season in 2020.
Known for his calm, yet intense demeanor, Jones is the jumps coach for the Blue Dragons. He has a long-standing and well-earned reputation for being a master tactician in field events where a small adjustment can made a world of difference to an athlete.
Jones was recognized for his body of work in 2005 at the NJCAA Indoor Championships when he was named the National Assistant Track Coach of the Year.
Jones has coached four NJCAA high jump national champions – Tracy Gisel in 1984 and Kristi Rinehart in 1997, Cassie Wiley in 2012 and Richard Newman in 2018 – and has multiple All-Americans in the high jump, long jump and triple jump on both the men’s and women’s side of the ledger.
The 2018 season will go down as quite a memorable year as Newman finished as the indoor national runner-up and outdoor national champion with a school-record 7 feet, 3 inches.
The long-time Blue Dragon aide also helped develop arguably Hutchinson’s best track and field athlete in program history when he helped Steve Fritz win the 1988 NJCAA decathlon national championship. Eight years later, Fritz finished fourth in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics decathlon.
Jones is a Hutchinson native who continues to hold track and field records at Hutchinson Trinity Catholic high School. He is a University of Kansas graduate. In addition to helping with the family trucking business, Jones has also taught and coached at Hutchinson Trinity and in the Hutchinson public school system.