Published on July 26, 2023
The John A. Logan College Board of Trustees unanimously named Charlie Jones the College’s new Head Women’s Basketball Coach. Jones becomes only the fourth head coach in program history, replacing Amanda Shelby, who accepted another position at the College. Jones is the College’s first African American Head Coach in any sport.
Coach Jones has been a mentor and role model to countless young people throughout his basketball, law enforcement, and ministry career. Jones, a retired Illinois State Police officer, is no stranger to the College or the sidelines of Brewer Gymnasium. Jones has been the College’s Ethics Officer, served on the College’s Diversity Committee, been a member of a presidential search committee, and was an assistant men’s basketball coach.
Jones came to John A. Logan College in 1985 from Stephen Decatur High School to play for legendary coach Tom Ashman. As a freshman, Jones was a member of the first team in school history to be ranked in the top 10 nationally. It was during his time as a player that he fell in love with the College and a cheerleader who would become his wife.
“I had a great experience personally and academically here and just fell in love with Logan and the Logan family,” said Jones.
After transferring to SIU, Jones had an opportunity to join the SIU Police Department, where he worked for nine years before joining the Illinois State Police. While working in law enforcement, he stayed close to the game of basketball, coaching his daughter’s AAU basketball team, which led to an opportunity to coach women’s basketball at Southeastern Illinois College. During his time at SIC, John A. Logan College coach Kyle Smithpeters approached him about helping at his alma mater.
After ten years as an assistant with the men’s program, Jones stepped away to focus on his AAU program, ethics position, and ministry.
Athletic Director Greg Starrick is excited about the energy Coach Jones will bring to the program.
“Coach Jones is first and foremost an incredible human being, and I know those characteristics will be evident in his athletes and product that the Lady Vols puts on the floor,” said Starrick. “Coach Jones is highly respected in southern Illinois and nationally through his AAU program and we are lucky to have him leading this program.”
Jones is grateful for the opportunity and says that it is his “experience box” that he believes will help build a successful program.
“At my house, my entire family is involved in the coaching, and we try to provide a safe environment for the players to be able to open up and share what is going on with them,” said Jones. “Depending on what they tell me, I can reach into that experience box and share with them my own experiences.”
Jones says the biggest reward is when former players reach out with a call or text to check in.
“When I get a text or Facebook message from a former player who just wants to check in or let me know that I made an impact or deposit in their life, it means so much, and that is what I strive to do make an impact,” said Jones. “I am humbled and honored to do what I am doing here, and I just want to make an impact so that whenever I leave here, they will know I gave it my all.”