Mansfield Hall of Fame baseball coach dies – Springfield News-Leader
One of Missouriâs baseball icons is gone.
Doug Jones spent more than three decades coaching high school baseball, mostly in Mansfield. He coached a state record 741Â victories in his career and was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
Jones, 60, suffered from a rare form of brain cancer for the final year of his life. His Mansfield Lions teams reached the state semifinalsÂ six times (1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996 and 2005) and won back-to-back state championships in 1995 and 1996.
Most recently, Mansfield went 16-5 in 2016 and won the Class 2 District 10 championship.
Mansfield Superintendent Nate Moore got to know Jones first as a high school baseball player.
âHe wanted the game played right, he wanted to do things right with respect and dignity,â Moore said.
Dr. Moore returned to Mansfield as an educator with a specific goal of being an assistant coach under Jones.
âTo think of Coach Jones, we automatically think of âHall of Fame,â but one word that describes him is class,â Moore said. âHe just exuded class.â
Moore met with the staff at Mansfield High School on Wednesday morning to discuss Jonesâ passing and share some time together before students arrived at school.
âWe just had an opportunity for some testimony and just talking about Coach,â Moore said. âItâs easy to talk about Coach and think of wins and losses but what is overshadowed is his ability to teach and reach people.â
Jones underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in January 2016 and continued coaching the Lions that spring in spite of his chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Jones coached Fordland from 1982 to 1987 and moved to Mansfield, where he spent the remainder of his career. The Lions won 22 district titles in his tenure.
In baseball, Jones will be remembered for his competitive spirit.
âIn all honesty, I think (players) felt like I was someone who loved the game,â Jones said in an April 2016 interview with the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, âand they wanted to play hard because they loved the game, too.â
In the Mansfield community, his legacy rests with mentoring people.
âCoach Jones was a man amongst men in the coaching world. Beyond that, he was one of the most talented educators ever to grace a classroom,â Mansfield High School Principal Richard Wylie wrote in an email to the News-Leader.
Jones was a four-year starter on the baseball team at Norwood High School from 1971 to 1974. He then started for four years for the Southwest Baptist University Bearcats and was a team captain for his junior and senior seasons.
In lieu of flowers, Jonesâ family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Douglas A. Jones Memorial Scholarship fund, which can be done viaÂ the Holman Howe Funeral Home in Mansfield.
Services will be held at the Mansfield High School gymnasium on Sunday, Jan. 29. Visitation begins at 1 p.m. with a service to follow at 2:30 p.m.
High school baseball coaches mourn Mansfield coach Doug Jones