In his 14th season as the men’s and women’s tennis head coach, Hutton Jones is the longest tenured head coach at ACU.
Jones’ career has been studded with Coach of the Year awards, Lone Star Conference championships and successful seasons. Before coaching, he played tennis at ACU from 1978-81, serving as the men’s team captain his senior season.
“I get up every day obsessed with getting better that day,” Jones said. “I’m always focused on working hard and doing the right things each and every week.”
His philosophy has worked. Jones has produced nine LSC championships with the women’s team and seven more with the men’s. Those 16 LSC championships are almost as big as his 18 NCAA Regional championships with the two teams.
“We have had a winning tradition here,” Jones said. “I would hate to leave here without a national championship. We are in the national picture every year; last year we were close with the girls. I think we will eventually get there.”
Not only is Jones a winner, but he is also consistent. In his coaching career, he has an overall record of 582-197, a .747 winning percentage.
“When he gets us on the court, he means business,” said player Natalie Friend, junior from Tulsa, Okla. “The cool thing about him is that he does the workouts with us.”
The newness of every season isn’t lost on the 14-year veteran.
I get nervous before every season, even every practice,” he said. “I’m intense about every single practice.”
Jones focuses on making his players better and bringing them closer to the Lord through tennis. He sees every tennis match as a battle, and he likes to see his players rise above the adversity.
“He is not only a great coach,” Friend said. “He is inspirational. He lives by his faith in the Lord. He is a life example for all of us.
Although unconventional, Jones’ philosophy involved more than just tennis.
“Tennis is all about life lessons,” Jones said. “If we give honor to God in every match, winning and losing will take care of itself.”