A softball coach who had success as a RedHawk now intends to achieve similar success as an Eagle.
Samantha Jones, who played in an NCAA Super Regional as a student-athlete and who has extensive coaching experience, is the new head coach for Morehead State Softball. Jones takes over the Eagle program following a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Miami University. Prior to her time with the RedHawks, Jones was the head coach at Asbury University in Wilmore.
“Samantha is a great fit for Morehead State and our softball program,” said Brian Hutchinson (96), MSU’s director of athletics. “She is an accomplished collegiate assistant and head coach and was an outstanding player in her own right. The Ohio Valley Conference is very competitive and Coach Jones’ energy and passion for our program will help us get there. Our softball program is in great hands.”
At Miami, Jones helped produce a high-powered offense that ranked among the best in program history. The 2017 team scored 265 runs (second in Miami history) while ranking on the team’s top-10 list in home runs (47), doubles (74), runs per game (5.0), RBI (222) and walks drawn (161). In addition, the team’s .967 fielding percentage was among the best five in school history.
“I am incredibly excited to be the next leader of the Eagles. I want to thank Brian Hutchinson and the hiring committee for giving me this opportunity to become part of the Morehead State softball family,” Jones said. “I’m looking forward to leading the team to its competitive potential and making an impact in the Ohio Valley Conference. I am honored to be a part of a community that takes so much pride in Morehead State and the student body.”
As academic advisor, Jones’ teams also set program records for semester team grade-point average (3.62) and overall school-year GPA (3.45).
On the field, Jones appeared in 207 career games at Kentucky, helping her senior-year squad (2011) advance to an NCAA Super Regional and win 40 games. She belted 10 home runs and drove in 34 runs as a senior and was named team Offensive Player of the Year. Jones connected on 20 home runs in her four-year career.
She was selected to the 2009 SEC Community Service Team and the 2010 All-SEC Academic Team. Jones was a member of the school’s dean’s list and the SEC Honor Roll every season. She was also awarded the Brad Davis SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Award, the Darrel Van Meter Community Award and the Frank G. Ham Character of Society Award.
Jones immediately jumped into the coaching realm following her collegiate career, leading the Asbury Eagles from 2013-16.
In 2016, six athletes, including all five of Asbury’s seniors, earned spots on the All-Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams. Jones was also named the KIAC Coach of Character winner at the end of the 2016 season. The honor is given each year to only one coach in the conference who best exemplifies the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character Initiative.
Jones, the eighth head coach in Morehead State program history, earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, exercise and science from the University of Kentucky in 2012 and is on track to earn her master’s degree in sport leadership and management from Miami (Ohio) University this year.
Jones and her husband, Meau, have one son, Parker Reed.