Kelly Jones to be Inducted into ITA Men's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame
March 1, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – Kelly Jones, a two-time NCAA doubles champion for Pepperdine, will be inducted into the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Champaign, Ill. on May 22, it was announced today. Jones is the fourth Wave to be inducted, joining Brad Gilbert, Robbie Weiss and Simon Aspelin.
The Hall of Fame ceremony runs in conjunction with the 2013 NCAA Tennis Championships, which will be hosted by the University of Illinois on May 16-27.
Jones was a four-time ITA All-American in doubles at Pepperdine from 1983-86. He also picked up All-American honors in singles during his senior campaign.
During the 1984 season, Jones teamed up with Jerome Jones (no relation) to win the men’s tennis program’s first-ever NCAA title. As the No. 1 seed, the duo defeated teams from Oklahoma State, North Carolina, LSU, Trinity, Stanford and USC to take home the trophy.
Jones won the doubles crown once again in 1985, this time alongside Carlos Di Laura. As the No. 6 seed, the Waves upset the top-seeded Georgia pair of Allen Miller and Mikael Pemfors in straight sets before edging Charles Bechman and Royce Deppe of Texas 7-5, 7-6.
As a freshman, Jones advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship with Rich Gallien. He was a quarterfinalist again as a senior with partner Agustin Moreno.
The Waves enjoyed tremendous success during Jones’ time in Malibu. Pepperdine posted top-four finishes at the 1983 and 1984 NCAA Team Championship before reaching the finals in 1986.
(To read up on Pepperdine's complete NCAA Championship history, check out pages 16-22 in the Pepperdine Men's Tennis Record Book)
Jones spent several years on the ATP Tour following graduation and earned runner-up finishes at Wimbledon (mixed doubles), the U.S. Open (men’s doubles) and the Australian Open (men’s doubles).
He was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team and achieved a World No. 1 doubles ranking in October of 1992.
In the Pepperdine record book, Jones still ranks seventh for his 76 career singles wins (dual season only) and fourth for his .786 (22-6) career winning percentage alongside Di Laura.
In 2009, Jones was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame.
The 2013 ITA Hall of Fame Class includes coaches Bobby Bayliss (Notre Dame), Dennis Emery (Kentucky) and John Peterson (Tyler Junior College) and players Paul Goldstein (Stanford) and Harold Solomon (Rice). Alan Schwartz, former Chairman of the Board & President of the USTA, will also be inducted for special contributions.
To read the complete ITA release, click here.
Jones is still active in the sport, and is currently competing at the 2013 Pacific Coast Doubles Championship. He and partner Peter Smith (former Waves head coach and current head coach at USC), opened the tournament with a convincing 6-1, 6-3 win over a team from Villanova.