Veteran defensive coach Dale Jones,who spent the last 23 seasons at Appalachian State, has joined the University of Louisville football staff to coach the inside linebackers, head coach Scott Satterfield announced.
“Dale Jones is an experienced defensive mind, who will be an excellent addition to our staff,” Satterfield said. “Jones has demonstrated an ability to motivate, lead, and mentor players, while also developing excellence in the players he’s coached. Dale has an incredible football intellect, an understanding of personnel and a fierce work ethic.”
Before joining the Louisville staff, Jones was a consistent fixture on the Appalachian State defensive staff, assisting in a period of growth and success, especially on the defensive side of the football. The Mountaineers won three straight league titles and made four consecutive postseason appearances.
In addition to coaching the inside linebackers, Jones was elevated to a co-defensive coordinator position in 2018. Jones’ defense was the main reason the Mountaineers won the inaugural Sun Belt Championship Game and dominated Middle Tennessee in the school’s fourth-straight bowl appearance.
With Jones assisting with the defense, Appalachian State was one of the best in the Sun Belt Conference and ranked highly in a number of national defensive statistics. The Mountaineers ranked fifth nationally in scoring defense and passing defense, while closing the year sixth in total defense.
The consistent play of the Mountaineer linebackers under Jones in 2018 was one of the main reasons why Appalachian State was so successful on defense. Under the guidance of Jones, Jordan Fehr was a first team all-Sun Belt honoree after finishing the season with 85 stops, 7.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, while Anthony Flory earned third team accolades after finishing with 96 tackles and 6.0 tackles for loss. The duo ranked among the top linebackers from bowl teams in tackles per game.
Jones came to Appalachian State in 1996 and served as the team’s defensive line coach and special teams coordinator for nine seasons (1996-2004). He began an eight-year tenure as the Mountaineers’ linebackers coach in 2005 and was also the program’s defensive coordinator for three seasons (2010-12). He directed the defensive line in 2013 before taking over the inside linebackers in 2014.
During his long run at Appalachian State, Jones was instrumental in developing players, as evidenced by the 12 players who have moved on to play in the National Football League. Jones also coached 11 All-America defensive linemen and linebackers, including five two-time honorees. He has also mentored 20 all-conference performers who have earned the recognition a total of 37 times, while four of his pupils — Josh Jeffries (2002), K.T. Stovall (2003), Jacque Roman (2008) and Jeremy Kimbrough (2012) — were named the Southern Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.
As Appalachian State’s defensive coordinator from 2010-12, Jones’ defensive unit led the SoCon in interceptions twice (2011 and 2012) and also topped the league in sacks (2011), red-zone defense (2011) and third-down conversion defense (2010).
While serving as Appalachian State’s special-teams coordinator, Jones was named the 2002 Special Teams Coordinator of the Year by American Football Monthly.
During his collegiate playing career, Jones was an all-American and two-time all-Southeastern Conference performer as a linebacker at Tennessee from 1983-86. He was a defensive standout on UT’s 1985 squad, which won the SEC championship and stunned No. 2 Miami (Fla.), 35-7, in the 1986 Sugar Bowl. His fourth-quarter interception sealed the Vols’ 16-14 win over Alabama, which was one of the most memorable moments of Tennessee’s run to the 1985 SEC title.
A 1988 graduate of Tennessee, Jones began his coaching career as an assistant under Johnny Majors at his alma mater in 1989. He went on to serve one-year stints with the Parma Panthers of the Italian American Football League (1990) and the University of Florida (1991) before a five-year tenure at Georgia Military College, where he served as defensive coordinator for four seasons.
Jones has a daughter, Brooke.
JONES AT A GLANCE
1989: Tennessee (defensive assistant)
1990: Parma Panthers (defensive coordinator)
1991: Florida (defensive assistant)
1991: Georgia Military (linebackers and defensive backs)
1992-95: Georgia Military (defensive coordinator/LBs and DBs)
1996-2004: Appalachian State (defensive line/special teams)
2005-09: Appalachian State (linebackers)
2010-12: Appalachian State (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2013: Appalachian State (defensive line)
2014-17: Appalachian State (inside linebackers)
2018-present: Appalachian State (co-defensive coordinator/inside linebackers)
1983-86: Tennessee (LB)
Alma Mater: Tennessee, 1988
Hometown: Cleveland, Tenn.
Birthdate: March 8, 1963
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