Dale Jones is in his 18th season at Appalachian State and begins his second stint as the Mountaineers’ defensive line coach in 2013.
Jones came to Appalachian State in 1996 and served as the team’s defensive line coach and special-teams coordinator for his first nine seasons with the program. He then coached Appalachian’s linebackers from 2005-12 and was also the Mountaineers’ defensive coordinator for three seasons (2010-12) before returning to the defensive front this season.
Player development has been a staple of Jones’ tenure at Appalachian State. During his 18 seasons at Appalachian, he has coached 11 all-America defensive linemen and linebackers, including five two-time honorees. He has also mentored 19 all-conference performers that have earned the recognition a total of 31 times while four of his pupils — Josh Jeffries (2002), K.T. Stovall (2003), Jacque Roman (2008) and Jeremy Kimbrough (2012) — have been named the Southern Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Twelve players that Jones has coached at Appalachian State have gone on to play in the National Football League, including four players currently in the NFL: eight-year veteran Jason Hunter (Oakland Raiders), third-year pro D.J. Smith (San Diego Chargers) and rookies Jeremy Kimbrough (Washington Redskins) and Demetrius McCray (Jacksonville Jaguars).
As a team, Appalachian State led the SoCon in interceptions twice (2011 and 2012) and also topped the league in sacks (2011), red-zone defense (2011) and third-down conversion defense (2010) during Jones’ three-year tenure as defensive coordinator.
While serving as Appalachian State’s special-teams coordinator, Jones was named the 2002 Special Teams Coordinator of the Year by American Football Monthly.
One of the most popular and decorated players in University of Tennessee history, Jones was an all-American and two-time all-Southeastern Conference performer as a linebacker for the Vols from 1983-86. He is best known as the defensive leader of UT’s 1985 squad, which won the SEC championship and stunned No. 2 Miami (Fla.), 35-7, in the 1986 Sugar Bowl. Jones’ fourth-quarter interception of Alabama’s Mike Shula that sealed the Vols’ 16-14 win over the Crimson Tide remains one of the most memorable moments of Tennessee’s run to the 1985 SEC title.
Jones graduated from UT in 1988 and began his coaching career as an assistant under legendary head coach Johnny Majors at his alma mater in 1989. He went on to serve one-year stints with the Parma Panthers of the Italian American Football League (1990) and the University of Florida (1991) before a five-year tenure at Georgia Military College, including the final four seasons as defensive coordinator.
One of 13 children in his family (six brothers and six sisters), Jones is married to the former Donna Hall. The couple has a daughter, Brooke.
JONES AT A GLANCE
1989: Tennessee (Defensive Assistant)
1990: Parma Panthers (Defensive Coordinator)
1991: Florida (Defensive Assistant)
1991-95: Georgia Military (Linebackers and Defensive Backs)
1992-95: Georgia Military (Defensive Coordinator)
1996-2004: Appalachian State (Defensive Line/Special Teams)
2005-09: Appalachian State (Linebackers)
2010-12: Appalachian State (Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers)
2013: Appalachian State (Defensive Line)
1983-86: Tennessee (LB)
Alma Mater: Tennessee, 1988
Hometown: Cleveland, Tenn.
Birthdate: March 8, 1963 (50 years old)
Wife: Donna (Hall)