Shawn Jones is going out as a champion. On Monday, the Broken Arrow wrestling coach announced he is stepping down in order to try a new employment venture.
“I meant business when I got here,” Jones told Skordle. “We didn’t go 14 for 14, but we did pretty well.”
Jones’ reign comes to an end after a 14-year run, which included five team championships, four dual state titles and 36 individual champions. Broken Arrow wrapped up February with dual state and team championships.
“I didn’t know a lot of stuff until the press conference,” Jones said. “I didn’t keep track of a lot of that stuff.”
Included among Jones’ accomplishments was Zach Marcheselli becoming Broken Arrow’s first four-time state champion since Brandon Tucker at the turn of the century.
Reece Witcraft (132) and Emmanuel Skillings (195) also picked up individual titles for the Tigers in 2019. And before they claimed their gold medals at the state tournament, Jones had already accepted a job outside of coaching.
“I had something land in my lap,” Jones said. “I always said I would continue to do this until I can’t pass something up.”
Jones said he was entering the medical field, selling cardiothoracic devices.
“I have three girls, and they unselfishly let me do my thing,” Jones said. “But now it’s time for me to do something where I can be with them.”
Broken Arrow athletic director Steve Dunn expressed his admiration for Jones.
“We appreciate all that Shawn has meant to Broken Arrow athletics over the years and, we wish him and his family the very best in this new adventure,” he said. “We didn’t have to look very far to identify the next head wrestling coach. In fact, he has been interviewing for the job for the past 14 years.”
Jones’ brother, Rodney, will take over the Tiger wrestling program, and he’ll be only the fifth head coach of the program since 1990. Rodney Jones has served alongside Shawn Jones, and he’s a former three-time All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Jones also served as an assistant coach at OU for five years before a one-year stint Mustang segued into his time at Broken Arrow.
“I don’t have the words to properly explain how excited and grateful I am for this opportunity,” Rodney Jones said. “There is absolutely no place like Broken Arrow. The opportunities this district provides our students and teachers is unmatched. It’s an honor to be chosen to lead this great program’s legacy and championship tradition.”
As for Shawn’s whereabouts when Broken Arrow starts wrestling during the 2019-2020 season, it won’t be hard to find him.
“I’m going to be a super fan, and since I have a connection I might be able to score some wrestling gear,” Shawn said before being asked if he’d sneak down into the coaching corner on the mats. “I’m going to be absolutely fine just sitting in the stands.”