CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois women's track and field head coach Ron Garner announced the hiring of Scott Jones as the head cross country and assistant track and field coach. Jones returns to Illinois after coaching 17 seasons at Akron, including five seasons as the head women's cross country coach. Jones was an assistant women's track coach at Illinois from 1994-96.

While at Akron, Jones was a two-time MAC women's cross country coach of the year and coached two conference champion teams. He also assisted with 10 MAC indoor and outdoor track and field championship teams, as his distance runners contributed to eight of the last nine conference titles. Jones has coached two All-Americans and 22 All-MAC cross country runners, as well as 25 individual MAC indoor and outdoor track and field champions.

In his first stint at Illinois, Jones helped produce three Big Ten team titles, as well as consecutive fourth-place finishes at the NCAA Championships in 1995 and '96. Jones began his career as a volunteer assistant coach at Cornell, where he assisted with teams that finished fourth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 1991 and '92.

Jones has also led his teams to academic success, as his women's cross country teams have received USTFCCCA All-Academic recognition every year since 1998.

A native of Galveston, Texas, Jones graduated from Duke in 1982, where he earned a bachelor's degree in geology. He also earned a Ph.D in earth science from UC San Diego in 1989.