Jeff Jones has been influencing the New Brunswick sporting community for decades now. Over the years he has received many coaching/volunteer awards and was most recently inducted into the Moncton Sports Wall of Fame. He has competed, and coached in a variety of sports, but no sport has felt his presence as much as wrestling. In the past, Jeff’s athletes have been awarded male/female athlete of the year at their respective high schools, outstanding wrestler of the year at the provincial level, and two of his athletes have been named outstanding wrestler at the national level.
While his coaching career never officially began until he entered university, there were always signs that pointed to the potential of Jeff becoming a great coach. For example, he was always an avid learner, and was known for driving his coaches crazy with questions. Never content to just go through the motions, he was persistent in trying to understand wrestling on a deeper, more technical level. He credits this mindset to his time spent as a 4th line hockey player, a position that requires the athlete to study the game.
Not only did Jeff display interest in learning technique, but he also enjoyed sharing it with others. In Grades 11/12 he was being recruited by Mount Allison’s wrestling program and would train with the university team on a bi-weekly basis. Despite being in the early stages of his athletic career, he would still return to his high school practices, and take the time to share what he had learned with his teammates. By the time he graduated high school he was prepared to take over as the coach of Tantramar Regional High School, in addition to the Marshawks Wrestling Club, where he got his first experience in an official coaching role. After moving to St. John to study respiratory therapy for two years, he moved back to Moncton where he has played a major role in keeping wrestling alive for the last 20 years.
As a coach, Jeff tries to instill an interest in learning and discovery into his athletes, just as he had when he was an athlete. He emphasizes the importance of the athlete figuring things out for themselves with a little direction when needed. The goal is for the athlete to realize on their own what technique or style aligns best with their personal strengths.
The 2022 Canada Games in Niagara Falls will be Jeff’s 4th consecutive games as a coach. He says that each opportunity to coach at the games has been unique, and that he has had the pleasure of being the club coach for at least one athlete at each of them. One of the most rewarding aspects of coaching at Canada Games has been getting to see athletes from all over the province take what he has taught them, and apply it to competition, and life in general.
In reflection of his coaching career so far Jeff had this to say, “As a coach, the most rewarding experience is when you bump into a former athlete years after, and they thank you for what you did. They often say how much fun they had and how much you influenced them. I guess that’s why we do what we do as a volunteer coach..”