Passages: Former Eastern Michigan Coach Mike Jones, 75

YPSILANTI, Michigan, November 4. MIKE Jones, the head coach of the highly successful Eastern Michigan University men's swimming and diving program from 1967-88, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 4, after a short hospital stay. He succumbed to multiple organ failure.

The 75-year-old Jones (12-6-33) was a native of Detroit, Mich. and graduated from Ferndale Lincoln High School in 1951. He completed his undergraduate degree at EMU in 1955 and earned two master's degrees, in 1963 and 1967 at Eastern. He is survived by his wife, Judy (Bates), sons Kyle and Jay and four grandchildren.

"Eastern Michigan University is deeply saddened by the loss of Mike Jones," EMU Director of Athletics Dr. Derrick Gragg said of Jones' passing. "Coach Jones is certainly a legend in the world of intercollegiate swimming and one of the cornerstones of EMU's athletic success over the past 40 years."

A funeral service is planned for Saturday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. at Nie Funeral Home on Carpenter Road in Ann Arbor. Following the funeral service, a Celebration of Mike Jones' Life Memorial service is scheduled at 4 p.m. in Jones Natatorium on the EMU campus. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be sent in Mike's memory to the Michael H. Jones Men's Swimming Endowment at Eastern Michigan University. Checks made payable to the "EMU Foundation – Mike Jones Swimming Endowment" can be sent to the EMU Athletic Development Office, 799 N. Hewitt Road, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Credit card gifts can be made online at emufoundation.org (be sure to put Mike Jones Swimming Endowment" in the designation line). Any questions about the endowment, can be directed to Associate Athletic Director for Development Craig Fink at 734-487-8236.

A 1955 Eastern Michigan University graduate, Jones returned to his alma mater in 1966-67 as an assistant men's swimming coach to then-Head Coach Bill Lewis and moved up to the head coaching post the next year when Lewis left to become the head coach at his alma mater, Miami University. Once Jones took over the head coaching reins in 1967 the rest was history as Jones led his teams to unprecedented heights in the intercollegiate swimming world until his retirement after the 1987-88 season.

During his EMU coaching career, Jones led his teams to a 177-50 dual-meet record (.779 winning percentage) and a 103-12 win-loss record (.896 percent) in league duals. Jones directed his EMU men's team to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championship in his first four seasons at the helm.

After the then-Hurons moved up to the NCAA College Division ranks in 1971, Jones once again led his team to the national championship, their fifth in a row.

EMU left the independent ranks in 1971 to join the Mid-American Conference and the Hurons recorded a second, two thirds and a fourth-place finish from 1972-73 through 1976-77, before the Jones magic returned in championship performances.

Eastern won its first MAC championship in 1977-78 and after a fifth-place finish in 1978-79, the Green and White ran off nine consecutive league titles before Jones retired as head coach after the 1987-88 season. He was named MAC Coach of the Year nine times and Co-Coach of the Year once in his 16 years in the league. His EMU teams won 48 dual meets in a row when he left coaching.

Jones received numerous awards in his coaching career, including having Feb. 27, 1971, proclaimed "Mike Jones Day" by the state of Michigan Legislature. He received the Master Coach Award from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America for his achievements in coaching and was named to the EMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985. He was also selected as one of the U.S. Olympic Swim team's assistant coaches in 1970.

In 1989 the Olds/IM Pool on the EMU campus was officially re-named the Michael H. Jones Natatorium in his honor.

Prior to returning to EMU as a coach, Jones was the head swimming coach at Hazel Park High School from 1960-66 where he led that school to great success.

His Hazel park teams recorded a 50-39 dual-meet record and he was named the Coach of the Year in the SMA in 1965 and in 1966 was singled out as the Michigan Amateur Aquatics Coach of the Year.

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World Magazine. It has been posted in its entirety without editing. Swimming World offers all outlets the chance to reach our audience by contacting us at Newsmaster@swimmingworldmagazine.com. However, Swimming World reserves the right to choose what material is posted.

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