Alan Jones is in his second season with the Ohio State football program. The 2011 campaign will be his first in the position of program assistant.
Jones retired in 2010 after a long career as an educator and coach in the Columbus City Schools. He taught art, photography and ceramics at Starling Middle School and then Independence High School. He coached football at Whetstone, Marion-Franklin and Independence Highs, serving as head coach at Independence from 2000-09. Two of his players - Joe Cooper and Eric Haw - went on to play for the Buckeyes.
An accomplished artist, Jones has exhibited his ceramics in a number of prominent national shows, including "Uncommon Beauty in Common Objects," which was shown at the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery, and "Innervisions," sponsored by the National Afro-American Museum. He was a member of President Bill Clinton's gift-giving council for the arts providing American handicrafts to foreign guests of state. In 1998, Jones earned the Best of Ohio Award for excellence in ceramics.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, and a graduate of Mohawk High School, where he played football, basketball and baseball, Jones played outside linebacker at Waldorf Junior College and later Peru State (Neb.) College. He earned an education degree from Peru State in 1981. He also holds a 3rd-degree black belt in karate.
He and his wife Debbie Clark-Jones, an Ohio State nursing graduate, have been active in animal rescue raising "big cats:" two lions and six tigers. They have one daughter, Ayisha, who also attended Ohio State.