Jerry graduated valedictorian at Vermillion (Kan.) Rural High School, where he earned four letters in football, basketball and baseball and two letters in track.
He enrolled at Baker in the fall of 1956 but his four years as a student-athlete at Baker were interrupted by service in the United States Marine Corps (1958-1962). While in the service, he participated in numerous competitive sports, including rifle team, volleyball, football and basketball. Several of the teams on which he was a member earned championships on the base, in the state of Hawaii and in USMC intra-service competition.
Upon discharge from the Marines he returned to Baker and continued participating in a wide range of sports. He earned varsity letters in football, basketball and golf and also participated in track. While participating in these several sports in high school, the Marines and at Baker, he was constantly observing the coaching styles of the many fine coaches for whom he had a chance to play. This in great part, helped determine his ultimate career and life’s work.
From Baker he moved into the field of high school teaching and coaching. Through his career he coached a myriad of athletic teams, including basketball, wrestling, track and golf. Several of his teams earned tournament, conference, state and regional championships.
His next move was into the collegiate coaching ranks with 17 total years as head basketball coach at Kansas Wesleyan University and an additional five years as head basketball coach at Indiana University South Bend. At Indiana South Bend he earned 100 victories, the most in school history. His final tally of victories at Kansas Wesleyan was 224, also a school record. His teams at KWU won conference championships in 1986 and 2000. He was honored with conference Coach of the Year awards those two years along with being named the national NSCAA Coach of the Year in 2000, as well as the Heart of America Sports Camps-NAIA College Basketball Coach of the Year.
He has received numerous other awards and honors for his professional achievements and for his outstanding community service. Included in these awards was a leadership acknowledgement for his work with Athletes Against Drugs in 2007. That same year his name was added to the Baker University School of Education Wall of Honor for his outstanding achievements in education and teaching.
He is married to Kathleen Barrett-Jones and together they have a daughter, Jessica.