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Jones named 2012 Coach of the Year for Indiana

Monday, June 25, 2012

South Putnam head coach Chris Jones was named the 2012 Coach of the Year Saturday. [Order this photo]
CARMEL -- It's hard to ignore stats like a 102-4 record in four years, a 56-game winning streak and back-to-back state championships. For all the accomplishments South Putnam head coach Chris Jones has achieved the past for years, one space was left empty on the mantle.

Now that space is nice and full after the Eagles' coach won the 2012 Indiana Coach of the Year. He was nominated along with Lake Central's Jeff Sherman, Northridge's James O'Dell, Rising Sun's Dave Brown and Tecumseh's Gordon Wood.

"It's incredible," Jones said of winning the award. "There are so many people to thank. First off, I have to thank God for a very humbling experience. I feel very favored to get this award with all the coaches in the state. To be recognized like that is an honor -- a tremendous honor.

"Then I have to thank South Putnam and our administration and my family for supporting me through all of this," Jones continued. "Most of all it's the girls. It's the South Putnam softball team. This award is just another accomplishment for that team because without them, I don't get this. This is just as much theirs as it is mine as well as my assistant coaches."

Jones said he felt honored to be able to represent South Putnam with an award of this caliber. He described it as the icing on the proverbial cake.

After the South Putnam skipper was honored, he had to wait anxiously as Miss Softball was announced with his senior Brooke Boetjer as one of the nominees. He didn't have to wait long to breathe a sigh of relief as Boetjer's name was called.

"I was more excited for Brooke than myself to be totally honest," Jones said with a smile. "She deserves it. As hard as she's worked, as many accolades as she's got -- it's been awesome. Again, to put the icing on the cake for everything. Winning Gatorade Player of the Year, winning Miss Softball, things lined up perfect for it.

"It's a testament to her teammates and our coaches and all the coaches who have coached her and her parents who have put a lot of time, money and effort into what she's been able to accomplish. I'm just so excited for her," he added.

With Jones and Boetjer taking home the hardware, it marked the first time since 2004 that a player/coach combo from the same school won both top honors. The gravity of the moment wasn't lost on Jones and he acknowledged how big of an accomplishment it was.

"To win it myself and get a sweep by South Putnam -- I don't know how many times that happens. That's just a special accomplishment," he said.