The Detroit Tigers have announced that Jeff Jones has informed the ballclub of his retirement thus capping his 38-year career in professional baseball. The Tigers have started a search to hire a new pitching coach.
Jones has served as the Tigers pitching coach since his appointment on July 3, 2011, marking the first time he served in that capacity at the major league level. During his tenure as the Tigers pitching coach, Justin Verlander (2011) and Max Scherzer (2013) each captured the American League Cy Young Award, while Anibal Sanchez won the American League ERA crown in 2013.
“I am grateful for the opportunity the Tigers have afforded me through the years and enjoyed working on Brad’s staff and with Jim Leyland,” said Jones. “There have been some great moments that I’ll cherish especially being a lifelong Tigers fan. I’ve been contemplating this for a little while and at this point in my life I want to spend time with my family and grandchildren, and I am looking forward to it.”
“‘Jonesy’ has been a great influence on our pitchers, both the veterans and the younger arms, and was a solid complement to our big league coaching staff,” said Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus. “We respect his decision and wish him all the best.”
Tabbed the Tigers bullpen coach on November 9, 2006, marking his fifth stint in that capacity, Jones spent the 1995 season, the final month of the 1998 season and all of 1999 as the club’s bullpen coach, in addition to joining the major league staff to serve the remainder of the season in that role on both September 7, 2000 and April 9, 2002.
Prior to joining Detroit’s major league coaching staff, he served as the pitching coach at Triple A Toledo for seven seasons (2000-06). He also served in that role with Toledo in 1990, 1993-94 and 1997-98. His professional coaching career began with the Tigers organization in 1989, when he served as the pitching coach at Single A Fayetteville. He spent two seasons as the pitching coach at Double A London (1991-92) and one season as the pitching coach at Double A Jacksonville (1996).
Jones was selected by Oakland in the 13th round of the June 1977 draft, and his pitching career spanned 11 seasons (1977-87). A Michigan native, Jones attended Southgate High School, and helped lead his team to the Wyandotte League title in 1974. He and his wife, Paula, reside in Carleton, and have two daughters, Audrey and Whitney.