Former Ohio State Director of Athletics Jim Jones, 83, passed away of natural causes Wednesday morning in Bonita Springs, Florida, the university announced.
A native of Cuyahoga Falls and Cuyahoga Falls High School graduate, Jones graduated from Kent State University in 1958.
Working in OSU’s athletic administration for 27 years, Jones was named the school’s sixth director of athletics in 1987 and retired in 1994 at age 57.
In 2013, Jones received the James J. Corbett Memorial Award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, of which Jones and Corbett were past presidents. The honor goes to one who typifies Corbett’s devotion to intercollegiate athletics and "worked unceasingly for its betterment."
In 2018, OSU’s Varsity O created an award in Jones’ name, given to those contributing to the university’s honor and fame. Charles Csuri and Jameson Crane were the first recipients.
"Jim Jones had a significant and positive impact on my life," OSU Director of Athletics Gene Smith said in a statement. "I will miss him greatly. He had a commitment to diversity and made a tremendous contribution to the growth of Ohio State athletics."
After receiving his master’s degree from Ball State in 1964, Jones joined the Ohio State faculty in 1965 as physical education instructor. Two years later, he moved to the athletic department and served as an academic adviser, primarily with the football team coached by Woody Hayes. Jones was promoted to assistant AD in 1970 and to associate AD in 1977.
Jones’ son Bill died of a heart-related condition in 2012 while serving as an associate athletic director at OSU.
Jim Jones and his wife, Linda, wintered in Bonita Springs, while keeping a home in Dublin, Ohio.
In addition to Linda, Jones is survived by daughter Lynnae (Mark) MaGinn and granddaughters Courtney and Taylor.
Funeral arrangements are pending.