don_jonesIn the early 1970’s no other athlete displayed more ability to excel in three sports than Don Jones. Don played football, basketball and baseball for SCHS and was a large contributor to the success of all three teams.

As a quarterback on the football team, Don was a 1st Team North Egypt Conference quarterback. His head coach, Gary Brandt, stated “Don does a fine job of running the club and I have not seen any other quarterback as good as Don this season.” He was also named the “Player of the game” vs. Mt. Carmel on October 15, 1971.

Basketball was the sport that Don excelled in probably more than any other. He was part of the 1971-72 team that was inducted in 2005 to the SCHS Hall of Fame. This team won the Salem Invitational and finished with a strong 17-9 record. Head Coach, Lee Emery, said “Jones is truly a standout playmaker and a very smooth guard”. He led the team in scoring with a career total of 964 points, which was impressive considering the three point shot had not been introduced. Don was selected 1st Team North Egypt Conference and was selected to the Southern Illinois Basketball “All-Stars”.

In the spring of 1972, Don was also a standout baseball player for Coach Bob Jamison. Bob stated “Donnie was a standout baseball player that was a good student and fun to be around. He was our best pitcher”. The highlight was when Don hit a home run in the last inning in the District Championship to win the game played at Kaskaskia College.

Following high school, Don considered numerous offers to play basketball at the college level. He chose Millikin University and became a starter with the Big Blue as a freshman. Don, along with another freshman guard, Brian Peters, became two of the best guards in the conference. Don scored 150 points in 23 games for the Big Rlue. Millikin Head Coach Jerry Gray said “Don is much better than his statistics indicate and he provides the intangibles which are necessary to win. He is one of our most talented ball handlers and is a clutch performer,” During his second year Don suffered a leg injury that kept him sidelined after scoring 73 points for that season. Don ended his basketball career following the 1973-74 season.

He graduated from Millikin University in December of 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Finance. Jones returned to Salem and became a Certified Public Accountant. He remains in Salem and continues to work as an accountant. He is the son of Clark and Vivian Jones of Salem. His brother, Rick Jones, lives in Centralia. Don and his wife Dena have been married for almost 27 years, and have two children, Danette and Doug, both former SCHS athletes.