Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze landed his number one target to replace CB Coach Wesley McGriff – Jason Jones from Oklahoma State.
By: Chuck Rounsaville, Publisher, OMSpirit.com
Freeze got his man.
Filling the shoes of “Crime Dawg” weighed on Freeze heavily. McGriff was a major part in the outstanding recruiting class the Rebels inked in February, and it was imperative for Freeze to get a “winner.”
Freeze compiled an impressive list of candidates and the one at the top was Jason Jones, who has been with Oklahoma State since 2008 and had compiled an impressive worksheet for the Cowboys and previously at Tulsa.
After Jones came to Ole Miss this past Sunday, Freeze was convinced he was the fit he was looking for.
With Freeze, there were priorities to meet. Number one was staff chemistry. Two, recruiting. Three, coaching ability. Four, family man.
Jones fit all aspects of Freeze’s criteria.
For Jones, sources indicate it was a matter of getting in the SEC and getting closer to home, among other things.
Jason Jones’ bio:
• Jason Jones joined the Oklahoma State staff prior to the 2008 season.
• Jones coached three different Cowboy corners to first-team All-Big 12 honors since 2009, with Perrish Cox earning the honor in 2009, Andrew McGee in 2010 and Brodrick Brown in 2011. Cox and Brown were both semifinalists for the Thorpe Award given to the nation’s most outstanding defensive back and Brown was a semifinalist for the 2011 Lott/IMPACT Trophy given to the defensive player who best combines excellence on the field with excellence off the field.
• With Jones serving as position coach, Cox led the nation in passes defended per game in 2009 and Brown ranked third in the same category in 2011.
• The Oklahoma State defense has been among the nation’s most opportunistic over the past four years, as the Cowboys have forced 130 turnovers to rank second nationally in that span. OSU led the nation with 44 turnovers forced in 2011 and was fifth with 34 in 2010.
• The Cowboys have become one of the Big 12’s elite teams with Jones on the staff, as OSU has amassed a 49-16 record since he came to Stillwater.
• Jones coached senior Perrish Cox to first-team All-America honors in 2009 and saw him named a Thorpe Award semifinalist. He is part of a defensive coaching staff that helped OSU improve to 31st nationally in total defense in 2009.
• With Jones serving as his position coach, Jacob Lacey ranked second in the Big 12 and 16th nationally in passes defended in 2008. He was honored as a second-team all-Big 12 cornerback by the conference’s coaches and is now a starting corner for the Indianapolis Colts.
• Jones came to Stillwater from Tulsa, where he served as cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator in 2006. He helped the Golden Hurricane to a 10-4 record, an appearance in the Conference USA championship game, and a 63-7 win over Bowling Green in the 2008 GMAC Bowl.
• Success has followed Jones at each of his coaching stops. In 2006, Jones served as the cornerbacks coach at Rice University, helping the Owls to their first bowl trip in 45 years as the Owls competed in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. In his first stint at Tulsa, Jones coached cornerbacks and helped the Golden Hurricane to a Conference USA championship and an appearance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. His first coaching job came as a graduate assistant at Alabama, where he helped his alma mater to an appearance in the Music City Bowl.
• With Jones leading the Tulsa secondary in 2005, the Hurricane defense ranked third nationally in takeaways (36) and interceptions (22) and was 11th nationally in pass efficiency defense and 17th in pass defense. Jones’ cornerbacks totaled 13 of those interceptions and had 29 passes defended.
• Born Nov. 13, 1977, Jones is a 2001 graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in financial planning. Jones was a two-year starter at defensive back for the Crimson Tide and was part of three Alabama bowl teams, competing in the 1996 Outback Bowl, the 1998 Music City Bowl and the 1999 FedEx Orange Bowl.
• A member of Crimson Tide teams that played in the Southeastern Conference championship game in 1996 and 1999.
• Jones earned a master’s degree from Alabama in sports management in 2005. He and his wife Kysha have three children, Andrew, Jace and Jarah.
Jones at a Glance
Year By Year
2004: Alabama, Graduate Assistant
2005: Tulsa, Cornerbacks
2006: Rice, Cornerbacks
2007: Tulsa, Cornerbacks/Special Teams Coord.
2008-present: Oklahoma State, Cornerbacks
2004 Music City Bowl
2005 AutoZone Liberty Bowl
2006 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
2008 GMAC Bowl
2008 Holiday Bowl
2010 Cotton Bowl
2010 Alamo Bowl
2012 Fiesta Bowl
2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl
Perrish Cox, San Francisco 49ers
Nick Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
Jacob Lacey, Indianapolis Colts
Anthony Madison, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ramzee Robinson, Detroit Lions