|Area of Distinction:||Player / Coach|
Ernie Jones served 17 seasons with the North Carolina Wesleyan College baseball program and made his mark as the longest-tenured assistant coach in NCWC history. His #8 jersey, in fact, was retired in the fall of 2015.
Jones transferred to Wesleyan in the fall of 1991 to continue his collegiate playing career with the Bishops. His two-year tenure saw the area native play in two South Regional championships and one College World Series. A first team All-Conference performer at shortstop, he is regarded as one of the best defensive players in program history, turning in an impressive .961 fielding percentage during his career.
A 1993 Wesleyan graduate with a bachelor's degree in Physical Education, Jones made a full-time return to his alma mater in 1999 as assistant to fellow 2016 inductee Charlie Long, setting the stage for the team's historic national championship run… a feat that he helped accomplish alongside his brother, Andy, who anchored second base for NCWC.
Jones teamed with Long for 16 more seasons and was a part of over 400 victories. As both a player and coach, he helped NCWC capture ten conference regular season and/or tournament championships, six NCAA Tournament berths, three regional championships, a trio of World Series appearances, and of course, the 1999 Division III National Championship.