New Position, Old Diamond
Alex Allen, Copy Editor~
On May 26 of this year, no more than a month after previous head coach Percy Abell retired, Lynchburg College announced the new head coach for baseball would be Lucas Jones. If that name sounds familiar to some, it is because Jones not only graduated from LC but also played on the baseball team.Jones graduated from LC in 2005 and started gaining his coaching experience soon after. His first taste of collegiate coaching came from being a volunteer assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University. He then made his way up to an assistant coach position at Randolph-Macon College from 2007 to 2010 and George Mason University from 2010-2013.
Following this, Jones joined the coaching staff of Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) in 2013 and stayed until 2015. He was named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region X Coach of the Year in 2014. Jones then left PHCC and went to Washington & Lee University where he served as the head coach for two years from 2015 to 2017.
When asked how it felt to return to the team he used to play for as the head coach, Jones said, “In this profession, to become a head coach in the town I grew up in and return to my alma mater is humbling. I am beyond excited to return home to pursue my professional passion but also be around family and friends every day. I was fortunate to have great experiences as a student-athlete here at Lynchburg that I hold dear to my heart. I am grateful for the opportunity that coach Abell gave me many years ago and will continue to grow the program centered around character and athletic development.”
While Jones was a player at LC, he left his mark in the record book. For the record of most hits in a season, Jones is tied for first with 77 hits during his last season in 2005. He is listed third for highest batting average in a season at .481 and tied for fifth for most doubles hit in a single season with 18; both rankings were also reached in his final season at LC.
He was also named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Player of the Year as well as Scholar Athlete of the Year and then went on to be named VaSID State Player of the Year.
Since this is Jones’ first season as the head coach for LC, it seemed fitting to ask him what he was most looking forward to in this upcoming season.
He stated, “I am really excited about building the Lynchburg Baseball culture and brand. I am also really passionate about building TEAMS. These aspects are constantly in motion that work toward building a program and team that excels in the classroom and at the national level on the field. Building groups takes an endless amount of work and collaboration. We are committed to building something that our campus and local community are proud of.”