Jones did so in just 11 seasons.
St. Pius X coach John Fredrick is the only other active coach in the state who has more than 400 wins and he’s been in coaching for roughly 30 years. Jones, 37, has only been coaching since 2002.
Frederick entered the season at 417 wins. Jones had 381 victories coming into this season, and Pope’s 19th win of the season over Lambert on Sept. 8 at the Lovett Block Party secured his 400th.
His career record is now 403-111.
“It feels great,” Jones said. “I’ve been blessed to have some great coaches in the program and have some awesome athletes come through., which made it easier to get the ‘W’s’ in the column. It feels great.”
Jones led the Lady Greyhounds to three straight championships from 2009-11 and that’s when his winning numbers skyrocketed. He produced 52 wins in 2009, 54 in 2010 and an additional 43 in 2011. In those three seasons, Pope had a combined five losses.
The Lady Greyhounds also made it as far as the elite eight every season since 2005. Jones has been during his run by having a junior program that averages 50 players and continuity on his coaching staff throughout his tenure.
Assistant coach Dave Woolstein, who is as well versed in volleyball as Jones, has been by his side for seven seasons. Jones took over Pope’s program in 2002 after assisting former coach Medra Ashmore for three seasons.
A 1993 Sprayberry High school graduate, Jones got involved in pickup volleyball games with friends the summer before his senior year. He took the game seriously shortly after and started playing in indoor leagues and outdoor tournaments as well as beach and grass tournaments. He also played on the University of Georgia club team as a setter.
Jones got into coaching afterward and worked with the North Atlanta Travel Club and Atlanta Juniors.
He arrived at Pope in 1999 shortly after graduating from Georgia where he was an understudy before Ashmore stepped down after the 2001 season.
“She had great patience,” Jones said. “I know when I first started taking over the team, I got a little bit worked up over the smaller things. Watching Medra staying calm, and not getting upset, was a bit of a learning experience.”
Once he took over, he said he wanted to have the best team on the floor and gives all of the credit to his program’s success to the middle school program, which was developed by Jennifer Weber — a former Clemson player who has sense moved on. It was that middle school program that helped the develop the talent necessary for the Lady Greyhounds to put together their impressive streak.
One of Pope’s stronger classes that came through middle school was the Class of 2011, guided by Mary Hoey (Wake Forest), Danielle Thompson (Wake Forest) and Sarah Morris (Bucknell). The 2012 class led by Mary Hannah Arrington (Auburn) and Wimberly Wilson (Georgia Tech) was just as talented.
Jones’ strength as coach is defense, which played a major role in Pope’s success over the last three years.
Pope’s most dominant season in 2010, when they were 54-1, came when these two classes played together.
While Pope is just as talented this season, the Lady Greyhounds are much younger and less experienced.
While this year’s Lady Greyhounds (22-7) already has more than three times as many losses as last season, Jones is still optimistic about what this year’s team is capable of, and so are his players.
“He’s super enthusiastic,” leading hitter Rachel Reynolds said. “He makes our small accomplishments really major. He never gets down or frustrated with our team.”