Keeping up with the Joneses of West Virginia University wrestling fame just got more difficult.
Greg Jones and Vertus Jones — two all-time great Mountaineer wrestlers who happen to be brothers — will be among the nine honorees in the Class of 2019 to be welcomed into the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame, the Morgantown-based university announced this weekend.
Greg Jones is West Virginia University’s all-time leader in wins and is the Mountaineers’ only three-time NCAA wrestling champion during his wrestling career from 2001-05.
Posting a career record of 126-4, Jones won the NCAA Championship as a freshman in 2002 at 174 pounds, as a junior in 2004 at 184 pounds and as a senior in 2005 at 184 pounds. With three NCAA individual championships, Jones became the 39th wrestler in NCAA history to win three national championships, the 20th wrestler to win titles at two different weight classes and the 10th wrestler to win a national title as a freshman.
What’s more, Greg Jones is the only Mountaineer mat star to earn an undefeated season, doing it in 2004 with a record of 26-0 and once again in 2005, posting a mark of 25-0. He ended his career on a 51-match win streak.
A four-time Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) champion, Jones holds WVU records for best mark as a freshman (34-2), best record of the 167/174-pound weight class (34-2) and most NCAA Tournament wins (17) and is tied for the most NCAA Tournament appearances (4).
The Slickville, Pennsylvania, native appeared in the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic three times, winning each match. He is a two-time recipient of WVU’s Red Brown Cup, given to WVU’s Most Outstanding Student-Athlete, and became the first Mountaineer to be named to the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler in 2005.
Jones was the fourth wrestler in EWL history to claim four EWL titles and led the league in points twice. He finished his EWL career with a record of 27-0 in dual meets.
Other awards and titles for Jones during his WVU career include 2005 — Most Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA Championships, Most Outstanding Wrestler at the EWL Championships, EWL points champion, College Sports Television National Athlete of the Week, WVU’s Coca-Cola Community All-American; 2004 — West Virginia Sports Writers Association’s Hardman Award winner, one of 23 U.S. athletes nominated for the AAU James E. Sullivan award, EWL points leader, Hodge Trophy finalist, EWL Wrestler of the Year, Midlands Classic champion; 2002 — EWL Wrestler and Freshman of the Year and Amateur Wrestling News Freshman of the Year.
In 2010, Jones was inducted into the EWL Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of fame in 2013 and in 2019, the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame. What’s more, Jones was inducted into the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic Hall of Fame.
In 2012, Greg Jones was named to InterMat’s Top 10 College Wrestlers of the 2000s.
Following his collegiate wrestling career, Jones served as an assistant coach and associate head coach at WVU for nine seasons. Since 2014, Jones has been one of the top wrestling coaches in mixed martial arts training.
Greg Jones graduated from WVU in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in sports and exercise psychology, now lives in Boca Raton, Florida with his wife, Kelly, and their two children, Mara and Greyson.
Vertus Jones became the Mountaineers’ first three-time wrestling All-American and first four-time Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) champion during his outstanding career from 1997-2000.
A two-time NCAA runner-up, Jones posted a stellar 30-2 record as a senior in 2000 at 184 pounds, setting the all-time West Virginia consecutive wins mark at 24. He earned his final All-America honor with a second-place finish at the 2000 NCAA Championships in St. Louis. He was named the EWL Co-Wrestler of the Year in 2000, as well as the EWL Tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler. Jones is currently tied for 10th on the WVU all-time list for victories as a senior (30). He won the EWL title at 184 pounds.
As a junior, the Slickville, Pennsylvania, native posted a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships at 184 pounds. Jones participated in the NWCA All-Star Classic and currently ranks eighth on the WVU all-time list for victories as a junior (31). He captured the EWL championship at 184 pounds.
As a sophomore in 1998, Jones was the youngest of 20 finalists at the NCAA Tournament and became the youngest in WVU history to reach the NCAA finals. He capped his impressive sophomore campaign with a second-place finish at 177 pounds at the NCAA Tournament. Jones won the EWL title at 177 pounds.
In 1997, Jones became the second WVU wrestler to win EWLs as a freshman. He qualified for the NCAA Tournament after being named the EWL champion at 167 pounds and was named WVU’s Rookie of the Year.
Jones became the first Mountaineer wrestler to be a four-time EWL champion and only the third EWL wrestler to be a four-time champion. He totaled 11 EWL Tournament victories in his WVU tenure.
Jones finished his WVU career with 95 victories, which was sixth-best at the time at WVU. He currently ranks fourth on the WVU all-time list for victories in a single season in the 177/184 pound weight class with 31. Jones is second on WVU’s all-time list for NCAA Tournament victories with 14. Jones was twice named as a recipient of the George Nedeff Outstanding Wrestler Award. He was a finalist for NCAA Sportsperson of the year as a senior.
Jones was inducted into the EWL Hall of Fame, was a 2006 inductee into the Southwest Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame and a 2010 inductee into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Jones graduated from WVU with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education teaching in 2001. He has taught and coached in the North Hills School District and was voted Section 3 AAA Assistant Wrestling Coach of the Year for the 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2007-08 wrestling seasons as well as District 7 AAA Assistant Wrestling Coach of the Year for the 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2015-16 wrestling seasons.
Jones lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Rachel, and children, Jayla and Jaden.
The Jones brothers — Greg and Vertus — will become only the second set of siblings to be inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
In addition to Greg and Vertus Jones, the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019 includes Meg Bulger (women’s basketball), Steve Dunlap (football), Darryl Prue (men’s basketball), Lisa Stoia (women’s soccer), John Thornton (football), Dr. Stefan Thynell (rifle) and Pete White (men’s basketball/track & field).
Induction ceremonies will take place Saturday, Sept. 14, prior to the West Virginia-NC State football game at Morgantown.