KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Former Carson-Newman head men's basketball coach and men's basketball All-American Dr. Chris Jones was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame last week in a ceremony at the Knoxville Convention Center Ballroom.
Jones was an All-American for the Eagles in 1962 and led Carson-Newman to its first two NAIA National Tournament appearances. He led the Eagles to a 54-11 record in his final two seasons at C-N, and led the Volunteer State Athletic Conference and the NAIA District 24 in scoring in each of his last three years.
Jones returned to Carson-Newman as the head basketball coach in 1981 and quickly put the Eagles back on the national map. He guided the Eagles to a 171-74 record over seven seasons. In his first season at Carson-Newman, he turned an Eagle program that was 5-23 the season prior into a 24-13 team that made an appearance at the NAIA National Tournament.
In his second season, Jones and the Eagles turned in one of the most memorable seasons in school history. C-N would capture a berth in the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City and make a run to the national quarterfinals, but the win over Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) in the NAIA District Championship to go to Kansas City is one of Jones' fondest memories during as the Eagles' head coach.
"The win over Trevecca in 1983 was a big moment," Jones said. "It was spring break and there was not any students around, so I went to the high school and got on the loudspeaker and brought over their students, their cheerleaders. We had the game in hand late, and with about four minutes left to play, Kansas City Lights started playing on the loudspeaker during the game."
In all, Jones led the Eagles to five VSAC titles and averaged 27 wins per year in his seven seasons. His resume as a player is even more impressive. He is a member of the C-N Hall of Fame and the C-N Team of the Century.
Jones earned the same honors at the NAIA level, joining the likes of Scottie Pippen on the NAIA All- Century Team and the NAIA Hall of Fame. He was drafted in the 1960's by the eight-team American Basketball Association's Cincinnati Royals, a team which included Oscar Robertson.
This is the fourth Hall of Fame that Jones has been inducted into to go along with the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Other inductees with Jones included Terry Brown (Official), Walt Chapman (Golf), Randy Jenkins (Track & Field), Kamisha Martin (Track & Field), David Meske (Coach), George Sampson (Contributor), Davis Tarwater (Swimming) and Jody Wright (Coach).