The Man, The Myth, The Legend . . .
Michael H. "Coach" Jones, 75, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, November 04, 2009. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Judith (Bates) Jones; sons,Kyle M.H. (Merri Lee) and Jay H. (Jill Fenton-Jones); grandchildren Emily, Carter, Clara and Meg. For nearly thirty years, Coach Jones was a professor of Physical Education and the Men's Swimming Coach at Eastern Michigan University, his Alma Mater. During that time, he led the Hurons to unprecedented heights in intercollegiate swimming: his teams won four NAIA national championships, one NCAA College Division national championship, and, once EMU entered NCAA Division I athletics, 11 Mid-American Conference championships in 12 years. He was named MAC Coach of the Year nine times, was awarded the Master Coach Award from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, and was named to EMU's Hall of Fame in 1985. He retired from coaching after the 1987-88 season. In 1989, the pool at EMU's campus was officially re-named the Michael H. Jones Natatorium in his honor. He was proud that several of his swimmers followed his example and became high school and collegiate swimming coaches themselves. Coach Jones completed his undergraduate degree at EMU in 1955, where he played varsity baseball; he later received two master's degrees, also from EMU. He played amateur baseball and hockey, and won several national championships. Prior to his collegiate coaching career, Coach Jones taught and coached swimming at Hazel Park High School. After retirement, he resumed his second love, golf, and rarely missed a day on the links. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, November 7 at the Nie Family Funeral Home, 2400 Carpenter Rd., Ann Arbor, MI with visitation from 1-2 p.m. A memorial reception will follow at 4 p.m. at the Michael H. Jones Natatorium in the Olds Recreation Building on the campus of Eastern Michigan University, 100 Olds/Robb, Ypsilanti, MI, 48197. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be sent in Mike's memory to the Michael H. Jones Men's Swimming Endowment at Eastern Michigan University-checks payable to the "EMU Foundation-Mike Jones Swimming Endowment" can be mailed to the EMU Athletic Development Office, 799 N. Hewitt Rd., Ypsilanti, MI 48197.