Henderson State Athletics Director Shawn Jones is stepping down at the end of the calendar year to accept the position of Senior Deputy Athletics Director and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Southern Mississippi
Henderson State News
Jones, a 48-year-old native of Moberly, Missouri, has been the athletics director at Henderson State since January of 2014. His tenure has been highlighted by a run of unprecedented success for the Reddies competitively, academically, and in fundraising.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Athletics Director at Henderson State for the past 10 years,” Jones said. “When the journey began in January of 2014, I was welcomed into the Reddie family with open arms. I am so appreciative of everyone who has supported us through the successes and the challenging times. We established friendships here that will last a lifetime.”
During Jones’ time in Arkadelphia, Henderson has captured 15 Great American Conference championships, made 23 NCAA Tournament appearances, and won regional championships in baseball and women’s golf. Reddies football, men’s basketball, baseball, softball, women’s golf, and men’s golf have all won conference titles during his tenure.
In the classroom, the Reddies have made tremendous strides under his leadership. Henderson’s departmental GPA has been 3.0 or better for each of the last 12 semesters and over 500 student-athletes have received Academic All-Conference honors in the past decade. An additional 35 student-athletes have earned Academic All-America recognition.
Fundraising has been a key part of Jones’ success. The membership of the Reddie Club tripled during his tenure, and he has subsequently orchestrated the most extensive athletic facilities improvements in school history, including renovations to the baseball and softball stadiums, the football stadium, the men’s and women’s basketball locker rooms, the Wells natatorium, the tennis courts, and the weight room. Jones has also overseen the construction of two entirely new facilities during his time as athletic director — the Ken Duke Golf Center in 2016 and the Cabe Student-Athlete Success Center in 2021. These projects combined for over $10 million in upgrades and expansion for Reddie Athletics.
Jones said he feels comfortable making this move in part because he knows the future of Henderson State is secure with Dr. Trey Berry set to assume the role of chancellor in January.
“Incredibly bright days are ahead for Henderson under the leadership of Dr. Trey Berry,” Jones said. “I feel so good about the timing of my departure to live out my career dream and work under Jeremy McClain at The University of Southern Mississippi because I know this campus and our athletics family is in such great hands. As we embark on the next chapter in our professional journey, know our family feels blessed beyond measure by our time at Henderson State and we will always carry the Reddie Spirit with us.”
Following Shawn Jones’ departure at the end of the calendar year, Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator Lenette Jones will assume the role of Interim Director of Athletics. Jones and Jones will be working closely on a transition plan over the remainder of the year. A national search will be launched in early 2024.
“I am thrilled that Lenette Jones will be stepping into the role of Interim Director of Athletics,” Shawn Jones said. “Lenette is an extremely talented and diligent athletic administrator who has been an integral part of every decision made in our department during my tenure. Our coaches and student-athletes could not be in better hands.”