THURSDAY, October 21st, 2010, AT 1:35 PM/ PST
We Lose Former
A Busy Life Cut Short
Champion Wayne Jones past away over a year ago, yet we never knew this
until today. Wayne was a Great Champion both in as well as out of the ring.
Knowing this, we wanted to remember him among his peers here on the
IKF web pages.
The article below was written by George Watkins back on September 25th, 2010 for the web site, www.thecalifornian.com
Wayne Jones couldn't keep his arms and legs busy enough. At age 10 he started taking karate lessons. As a teen-ager he became a standout wrestler at Alisal High School and San Jose State University. And when his college eligibility ended, he became a world champion Professional Kickboxer.
It was as if Jones spent his entire life in perpetual motion. But in a cruel twist, Wayne Jones could hardly move a muscle during the final days of his life. Jones fell victim to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Jones died at age 49 on April 28 in San Jose. He leaves a wife, Carolyn.
About a week ago Jones was inducted into the San Jose State University Sports Hall of Fame. "The [Hall of Fame] ceremony was just so amazing," said Wayne's dad, John Jones of Salinas. "They had his medals, plaques and all the induction people on the stage." Wayne Jones was pictured on a big screen for all to see and remember. "That really got to me," said John Jones. "Some of his wrestling teammates came over to me and so did his coach, T.J. Kerr. They told a couple of funny stories." Jones wrestled for Palma High for one year, but earned a scholarship to San Jose State after two championship years at Alisal High during a time when prep wrestling in Monterey County was at its peak.
Jones was a two-time league champion and state qualifier. He placed sixth at the state meet at 106 pounds as a senior. Jones' reputation soared once he arrived at San Jose State. His .807 winning percentage was third highest in SJS history. His 96 wins rank fourth on the school's all-time list. Jones earned All-American status while at San Jose State in 1982 when the Spartans went 18-2 and won their third straight Pacific Coast Athletic Association title. He placed ninth that year at the NCAA tourney. In 1982 Jones won four 126-pound tournament titles, including the PCAA crown to help launch the SJS wrestling program into national prominence. Jones was also a key figure in San Jose State's first wrestling victory ever over Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. He overcame a pulled hamstring an injury that subsequently knocked him out of the collegiate and freestyle season to win his match.
In 1994, Jones beat Steve Haleman by knockout, 61 seconds into Round Two to capture the International Kickboxing Federation California Welterweight title. He later won a world kickboxing title.
In an e-mail posted on the SJS wrestling Website came this note from one of his college teammates; "I was a teammate of Wayne's for only a year but I never forgot him or the stellar performance he put on at the 1982 NCAA championships. He was an unseeded wrestler who ended up placing third and beating Iowa State's Joe Gibbons [in Iowa!]. "He went through our brutal practices. He got $10 meal money on a road trip. He ran laps around the campus. He cut weight. He got hurt. We all did this together."
GEORGE WATKINS is a sports writer for The Salinas Californian. Contact him by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (831) 754-4264.
Rest in Peace Wayne,
You are one of God's Champions now...
BACK TO WHERE ARE THEY NOW PAGE