2009 Hall of Fame Inductee: Kelly Jones
MALIBU, Calif. -- The Pepperdine University Department of Athletics' 2009 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is coming up quickly and tickets to the annual event are still available. Seven of Pepperdine's greats -- Doug Christie, Geoffrey Clark, Bob Ctvrtlik, Katherine Hull, Kelly Jones, John Rettberg and Rod Wilde -- will be honored.
The ceremony will be held on Sunday, October 25, at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, Calif. A reception will be held at 5 p.m., with dinner and the awards presentation at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 per plate and can be purchased by contacting Heather Collart at 310-506-6483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From now until the event, PepperdineSports.com will be running profiles on each of the seven inductees. Today is Kelly Jones' turn:
With two NCAA doubles titles on his resume, Kelly Jones is one of the most decorated men's tennis players in Pepperdine history.
A native of Georgia, Jones moved to San Diego at the age of 13, and that's where his tennis career blossomed. Despite not playing a national tournament until the age of 16, he would rank as high as #3 on the junior national level, was a singles and doubles finalist at the U.S. Junior National Championships and won a CIF singles title.
He entered Pepperdine as a freshman during the 1982-83 season and enjoyed an unprecedented four years of success. He won the 1984 NCAA doubles title with Jerome Jones, then came back and won the title again the next year with Carlos DiLaura. Jones won All-American honors all four seasons. He posted a career dual-match singles record of 76-32 (he held the school record for total singles wins and still ranks #6) and had a career dual-match doubles record of 71-19.
The two Jones (who were not related) had a 20-4 record in dual matches in 1984, and Jones and DiLaura went 21-6 in 1985.
Jones helped Pepperdine to outstanding team success as well. The Waves went to the NCAA Tournament all four times, placing second in 1986, third in 1984 and fourth in 1983. Pepperdine won WCC titles all four seasons and had an overall record of 98-25.
During his years at Pepperdine, Jones also took part in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Representing the United States, he reached the second round of the singles tournament.
Following his departure from Pepperdine, Jones began a very successful professional career in 1986. He earned the world's #1 ranking in doubles in 1992 and would win 10 career titles (eight in doubles and two in singles). He competed in a total of 45 Grand Slam events and was a finalist at three: the 1988 Wimbledon mixed doubles, the 1992 Australian men's doubles and the 1992 U.S. Open men's doubles. His two singles titles both took place in Singapore in 1989 and 1990.
After retiring from the tour in 1998, he went from playing to coaching and took a position as a USTA National Coach. He also served as the Director of Tennis Programs at Four Bridges Country Club from 2000-04. He currently runs KellyJonesTennis.com, which develops plans and strategies for families with high-level junior tennis players, and the Tennis LMS Institute, a full-time tennis academy. He also joined the University of South Florida's women's tennis program as a volunteer coach in 2008.
Jones is currently the coach for James Blake (who has been ranked as high as #4 in the world) and has also been the coach of such notable professionals as Mardy Fish, Xavier Malisse, John Isner, Justin Gimelstob and Alex O'Brien.
He was recently inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame.
He and his wife Tami Whitlinger-Jones, a former top 40-ranked player on the WTA Tour, reside in Tampa, Fla., along with their daughter Makenna.