One of the most successful softball coaches in the country, Greg Jones is entering his 19th season in 2019 as Winona State’s head coach. During his tenure with the Warriors, Jones has taken the team to new heights and cemented the program as one of the best in the nation every year.
Coach Jones recorded his 700th career victory during the Warriors' record-setting 52-win season in 2017 and enters the 2019 campaign just three wins shy of 750. He owns the most wins in school history. Based on NCAA Coaching Records through 2017, Jones ranks 45th all-time among all divisions of college softball and 12th all-time in Division II. He ranks ninth among active DII coaches in career winning percentage (.737) and 20th in active career wins.
Jones has been named the NSIC’s Coach of the Year three times and has led the Warriors to at least 30 wins in all 18 years as WSU's head coach, including 11 seasons of 40 or more victories.
It didn’t take Jones long to set a standard of excellent on the diamond at Winona State. The Warriors set a program record for victories in his second year as head coach (which has since been eclipsed two additional times by his squad) and won the first NSIC Championship in school history in his third. His team plays by the motto of "Passion & Pride" on and off the field.
Jones has built a consistent winner, claiming four NSIC Regular Season Championships (2003, 2005, 2007, 2018) and six NSIC Tournament titles (2003, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2018). The Warriors have also become a perennial postseason contender, advancing to the NCAA Tournament 12 times. The team has played in the NCAA Super Regional Tournament twice, in 2009 and 2013, winning the regional title in 2009. In 2018, the Warriors hosted the Central Regional as the #1-seed.
The 2009 team reached the NCAA Division II World Series for the first time in program history, winning the school’s first regional title and finishing fifth in the final national rankings. Jones and his assistants were named National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Regional Coaching Staff of the Year for their efforts.
The 2009 season was historic on many levels for Winona State. The Warriors won 50 games for the first time in program history, going 50-13 overall and 20-6 in the NSIC, breaking 14 school records in the process. The team defended its NSIC Tournament crown and advanced to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament. WSU hosted the NCAA Regional Tournament for the first time in school history, going unbeaten on its way to its first regional championship. The Warriors then hosted the NCAA Super Region Tournament, beating Mesa State twice to reach the NCAA Division II World Series. The team won its first-ever World Series game, a 2-1 victory over LeMoyne College, before bowing out of the tournament.
While setting the program record for wins (52) once again in 2017, the Warrior defense landed in the NCAA record book for best fielding percentage (.982) for a Division II program. The 2018 squad's 45-7 mark set a new program record for winning percentage (.865) in WSU history.
Individual honors have also rolled in for players under Jones’ guidance. Warriors have been selected as All-Americans 21 times under his coaching while 39 different players have been All-Region selections a total of 74 times. He has also tutored five NSIC Players of the Year, three NSIC Pitchers of the Year and four NSIC Newcomers of the Year, as well as a regional player and pitcher of the year.
Warriors have also had success in the classroom. Jones’ players have been named to the conference’s All-Academic team 80 times with 16 earning Regional All-Academic honors and one player earning Academic All-American honors. Two WSU players have been awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.
Success has followed Jones wherever he has coached. Prior to Winona State, he successfully guided the Wisconsin Diamonds 18-Under softball team to three Wisconsin State Championships, one Midwest Championship, and three National Tournament appearances in five years.
Jones earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1993. He went on to get his Teaching License and Certification from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1996.
Jones lives in Winona with his wife Cyndy and their children Carson and Piper.