Zeke Jones, one of the best lightweight wrestlers in U.S. history, joined USA Wrestling as its Head Coach of the National Freestyle Program in October 2009. Jones is responsible for the nation’s men’s freestyle program, has served as it’s head coach at the World Championships from 2009-2011 and will lead the team to the Olympic Games in London in 2012.
Jones is a past World champion, Olympic silver medalist, World bronze medalist, 4X World Cup Champion, and served as its Olympic Team coach.
Jones, an internationally recognized coach, was selected as the Olympic Freestyle Coach for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, which competed in Athens, Greece. The U.S. won three medals in Athens, with a gold by Cael Sanderson and silvers by Stephen Abas and Jamill Kelly.
Jones served as head coach for the American team at the 2001 World Championships. The U.S. placed fifth in the team standings and featured a pair of silver medalists. Jones was the head coach for a pair of U.S. teams that won championships at the World Cup. He was named National Freestyle Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling. He has made numerous contributions as the head coach with the Sunkist Kids.
Jones was head coach of the 2003 Pan American Games team, which won the team title and captured four individual gold medals. He also was on the U.S. coaching staff for the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. Among the athletes he coached were 1996 Olympic gold medalist Kendall Cross and 2000 Olympic silver medalist Sammie Henson.
Jones came to USA Wrestling after spending the past three seasons as the head coach at the University of Pennsylvania. Jones coached Penn’s Matt Valenti to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007, the first time a wrestler at Penn had won back to back NCAA Championships in 64 years. During that same time Penn set school records for most points scored in an NCAA Tournament and having eight returning NCAA qualifiers. This garnered Jones the Rookie Head Coach of the Year Honors. Prior to coaching at Penn he served on the coaching staffs at West Virginia, Arizona State, and Bloomsburg University. While coaching, his teams have finished in the NCAA Final Four twice, in the top 10 four times and won six conference team championships. Individually his wrestlers have won 6 NCAA titles, 8 NCAA finalists, 36 individual conference champions, 29 All Americans, 74 NCAA Qualifiers, and 11 wrestlers have competed in NWCA All Star Meet. One of his champions, Greg Jones, won 3 NCAA Championships and was one of only 10 freshman to win an NCAA Title. On the academic side, his team has finished in the top 5 academically three times producing five 1st team academic All Americans and 22 NCAA and Conference Academic All Americans. Jones had an outstanding career as a wrestler at the international level. He won a gold medal at the 1991 World Championships. Jones also claimed a silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. He added a bronze medal at the 1995 World Championships. He placed fourth in the 1990 and 1993 World Championships. He was a member of the U.S. squads that won World team titles in 1993 and 1995.
Jones, a four-time World Cup champion, is a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Jones was voted “World’s Most Technical Wrestler” by FILA.
Jones garnered a B.S. in business finance and wrestled on the 1988 NCAA Championship team at Arizona State, where he was a NCAA finalist and was a three-time All-American for the Sun Devils. He was top-ranked freestyle wrestler in the USA while still competing in college and was the No. 1 ranked wrestler for seven straight years.
Jones is originally from Ann Arbor, Mich., where he was a state high school champion and finalist, a three-time Junior National All-American and a Dream Team selection by Wrestling USA..
Jones and his wife, Renee, have four children, Jessica, David, Rebecca and Jacob.
- Head Coach, United States Freestyle Wrestling Team
- Head Coach, 2004 US Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Team
- Head Coach, 2003 Pan American Games Team
- 2001 National Freestyle Coach of the Year, USA Wrestling
- Head Coach, 2001 World Championship Team
- Head Coach, 2000 World Cup Team
- Assistant Coach, 2001 World Cup Team
- Coaching Staff, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games
- Coach, 2000 Pan American Championships
- Head Coach, 2000 NCAA International All-Star Team
- Assistant Coach, 1999 NCAA International All-Star Team
- Head Coach, 1998 World Cup Team Champions
Wrestling and Leadership Accomplishments
- Winner of FILA’s “World’s Most Technical Wrestler” – 1 of 3 American’s to win the award (John Smith and Chris Campbell)
- 1991 World Champion
- 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist
- Four time World Cup Champion
- Six time National Champion
- Pan American Games Gold Medalist
- Goodwill Games Gold Medalist
- 1995 World Bronze Medalist
- NCAA Division I National Team Champions member, 1988
- NCAA Division I National Team Runner Up member, 1989, 1990
- World Championships Team Champions, member, 1993 and 1995
- Eight time World and Olympic Team Member
- Espoir National Champion and Outstanding Wrestler
- Espoir World Silver Medalist
- NCAA Finalist and three time NCAA All-American
- Three time PAC 10 Champion
- Midlands Champion
- Pac 10 Tournament Grand Marshall
- Distinguished Member, National Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Member, Arizona State University Hall of Fame
- Member, Michigan Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Runner Up, Man of the Year, Amateur Wrestling News
- USOC Board of Directors Member
- USA Wrestling Board of Directors Member
- Chairman, Athlete Advisory Council, USA Wrestling