Jay Jones enters his 21st season as Rhode Island College's head wrestling coach. He also serves on the Executive Committee for the NCAA Div. III Wrestling Coaches Association. He owns a 234-194-1 (.547) career record. Jones became the winningest coach in program history during the 2016-17 season.
In the past 20 years, Jones has coached one National Champion, seven All-Americans, 15 NCAA All-Regional wrestlers, one NCAA Regional Champion, 66 All-New England wrestlers, eight New England Champions, 21 national qualifiers and 21 Academic All-Americans. He also led the Anchormen to two Pilgrim League Championships in 2002-03 and 2003-04.
In 2018-19, RIC went 4-17, with many of its top competitors sidelined due to injury, and finished 15th at the NCAA Regional Championship. In 2017-18, he led the Anchormen to a 6-14 overall record with a 3-10 mark in the NEWA. RIC placed 18th at the NCAA Regional Championship and was 14th at the NEWA Championship.
In 2016-17, Jones led Rhode Island College to a 7-9 overall record and a 6-5 mark in the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA). The Anchormen had two NCAA National Championship Individual qualifiers. RIC placed 12th at the NCAA Regional Championships with two place-finishers and posted an 11th place finish at the NEWA Championships.
In 2015-16, he guided RIC to an 8-8 overall record and a 7-5 mark in the NEWA. RIC finished 29th at the NCAA Div. III National Championships and had two wrestlers earn All-American honors. The Anchormen placed eighth at the NCAA Regional Championships with one individual champion and two place-finishers and seventh at the NEWA Championships.
In 2014-15, Jones led RIC to a 10-8 overall record, earning his 200th career win, and a 9-5 mark against NEWA opposition. The Anchormen finished 10th at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship and sent one wrestler to the NCAA Div. III National Championships where he attained All-American honors.
Rhode Island College sent two wrestlers to the 2014 NCAA Div. III Wrestling Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with one wrestler returning home as the program’s first All-American since 2011. The Anchormen finished 42nd overall (59 teams) with a score of 5.5. Prior to that, four Anchormen placed in the top five in their respective weight classes and earned All-NCAA Northeast Regional honors at the 2014 NCAA Regional Championships. Rhode Island College finished seventh overall (18 teams) with a score of 59.5.
In 2013-14, Jones helped RIC send two qualifiers to the NCAA National Championships. Four Anchormen placed in the top five in their respective weight classes and earned All-NCAA Northeast Regional honors at the 2014 NCAA Regional Championships in Middletown, Conn. Rhode Island College finished seventh overall (18 teams) with a score of 59.5. Earlier in the year, RIC took first place (15 teams) with a score of 128.0 at the 2014 Mt. St. Vincent Dolphin Invitational on Jan. 18, while also placing fourth (17 teams) with a score of 117.5 at the Doug Parker Invitational on Nov. 23.
In 2012-13, the Anchormen went 11-15 overall, 8-5 in the NEWA and 4-1 in the Pilgrim Wrestling League. Rhode Island College had two wrestlers earn All-NCAA Northeast Regional honors at the 2013 NCAA Div. III Northeast Regional Wrestling Championships on March 2-3 and eventually saw eight wrestlers earn Pilgrim League All-Star honors.
In 2011-12, the Anchormen went 15-13, 10-5 in the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) and 3-2 in the Pilgrim Wrestling League. Four Anchormen earned All-New England honors as RIC finished fifth and two went on to compete at the NCAA Championships.
In 2010-11, he led Rhode Island College to a 11-10 overall record, which included a 9-6 mark in the NEWA and a 3-2 record in the Pilgrim League. Three Anchormen garnered All-New England honors as RIC placed eighth and one went on to the NCAA Championships and attained All-American status.
In 2009-10, the Anchormen were 13-7 overall, 10-6 in the NEWA and 3-2 in the Pilgrim League. Seven Anchormen attained All-New England status as RIC finished seventh and one went on to the NCAA Championships.
RIC finished the 2008-09 season with a 17-6-1 overall record, a 12-3-1 mark against NEWA opposition and a 4-2 record in the Pilgrim Wrestling League. The Anchormen finished third at the New England Championships. Two RIC grapplers won their respective weight classes and a total of six Anchormen attained All-New England status.
Nine years of tireless work and dedication culminated in RIC’s first New England Championship in 16 years in 2007-08. Jones’ charges posted a 16-4 overall record, an 11-3 mark against NEWA opponents and a 4-2 record in the Pilgrim Wrestling League. The Anchormen won the N.E. Championship, placing first among 14 teams, as eight wrestlers attained All-N.E. status, which included two individual champions.
Under his tutelage, Mike Bonora won the NCAA National Championship at 141 lbs., only the second RIC grappler to achieve that feat. Rhode Island College finished the season No. 14 in the nation. For his efforts, Jones was named the New England Wrestling Association's Coach of the Year.
In 2006-07, Jones guided the Anchormen to a 13-10 overall record, a 9-7 mark against New England College Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) opponents and a 3-3 record in the Pilgrim Wrestling League. Rhode Island College placed eighth at the NECCWA Championships. RIC had one All-American, one New England champion and four grapplers earn All-England honors.
In 2005-06, Jones led RIC to a 14-11 overall record, a 10-6 mark in the NECCWA and a 4-2 record in the Pilgrim Wrestling League. The Anchormen had two wrestlers attain All-New England status.
In 2004-05, he led the Rhode Island College wrestling team to a 16-3 overall record and was 11-1 in the NECCWA. At the NECCWA Championships the Anchormen took home third place. It was the highest finish for the RIC grapplers since the 1992-93 squad also placed third. In addition, RIC had seven wrestlers attain All-New England status.
In 2003, Jones was named the Rhode Island Man of the Year by Wrestling USA Magazine, earning the award for taking RIC wrestling from the bottom to the top. He was also named the NECCWA's Rookie Coach of the Year in '99-00 when he inherited a team that was 0-13 overall and finished 14th in New England in 1998-99.
Prior to coming to RIC, Jones was the Head Wrestling Coach at Barrington High School in 1997-98 and 1998-99. The team placed eighth at the State Championships, tying a school record, in ‘98-99. Before taking the Head Coach’s position, Jones was an Assistant Coach at BHS from 1992-95 and again in 1996-97. During his seven-year stint at Barrington High School, he coached a total of four State Champions, four New England place-finishers and one New England Champion. The team won several league championships and BHS placed fifth at the New England High School Championships in 1997.
He graduated from Rhode Island College with a bachelor of arts degree in communications in 1994. He earned an additional bachelor’s degree in secondary education from RIC, graduating magna cum laude with honors in teaching, in 1999.
While an undergraduate at RIC, Jones was a four-year letter-winner for the Anchormen as a wrestler from 1988-92. He competed at 118 pounds as a freshman and sophomore, 126 pounds as a junior and 142 pounds as a senior. He was a member of four straight New England College Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) Championship squads at RIC in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992. Jones also played four years on the RIC baseball team as a second baseman.
In addition to his coaching duties, Jones is an English teacher at Cranston West High School.
Jones is the proud father of a daughter Haley (23) and he resides in Saunderstown with his wife Francine and son Brady (4).