W&L ATHLETIC TRAINER TOM JONES ENTERS PHASED RETIREMENT

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Washington and Lee Athletic Director Mike Walsh has announced that Head Athletic Trainer Tom Jones has entered a period of phased retirement which will end with the completion of the 2002-03 athletic season.

Jones will stay on as an advisor, consultant and mentor for his replacement. A search for his successor will begin immediately.

"For 32 years, Tom Jones has been the quintessential athletic trainer, faculty member and colleague at Washington and Lee," said Walsh. "Tom is widely regarded as one of the outstanding athletic trainers in collegiate athletics. He is a leader in his profession and is devoted to W&L athletics and our community. We are pleased that he will remain on during the transition process. We thank Tom for a job well done."

Jones' athletic training career began in 1966 as the athletic trainer at Wilson Memorial High School in Fishersville, Va. He then served as a graduate assistant trainer at the University of Virginia during the 1967-68 school year and as the assistant athletic trainer at the University of Georgia from 1968-70 before being hired at W&L by then-Athletic Director Gene Corrigan in 1970.

During his time at Washington and Lee, Jones has established himself as one of the top individuals in his profession. He served as the head athletic trainer for the North-South All-Star Lacrosse Game from 1971-77 and was the Secretary (1986-88), vice-president (1988-90) and president (1990-92) of the Virginia Athletic Trainers Association. While serving as president of the association, Jones created a scholarship program to help students pursuing careers in the athletic training field.

A member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, Jones has received the organizations 25-year Membership Certificate, the Service Award and the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award. He is the only active trainer in the state to have received all three awards.

In 1984, Jones received the Glenn Grant to conduct a study on the effects of coeducation on the athletic programs of previously all-male institutions. He was the first member of the W&L athletic department ever to have received the grant.

Jones' influence over the athletic training program has helped to expand the staffing at W&L from one trainer in 1970 to four staff members during the 2002 season. In all, he has mentored over 50 individuals who have gone on to careers in athletic training or the medical profession.

"In life's myriad experiences, timing is sometimes paramount," said Jones. "W&L has offered me a unique and challenging opportunity to work with talented student-athletes and I have appreciated the level of professionalism extended to me by the coaching staff at W&L. Additionally, I've had the pleasant experience of cultivating relationships among faculty and staff across campus. I believe I've been able to develop the level of athletic training to the point that the program is in a dynamic position and ready for an infusion of new ideas and stimulation."

Jones earned his bachelor's degree in biology from Hampden-Sydney College in 1960. He then graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1966 with a license in physical therapy and received a master's degree in sports medicine from the University of Virginia in 1968. He is a member of the Virginia and American Physical Therapy Association, the Virginia and National Athletic Trainers Association and the American College of Sports Medicine.

-- GENERALS --