Tulane baseball coach Rick Jones to sit out remainder of season with illness
NEW ORLEANS, LA — Due to an illness that has sidelined him for the last 10 games, Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones will miss the remainder of the 2014 season under doctor's orders, announced Tulane Director of Athletics Rick Dickson on Monday.
Jones' illness is not considered life-threatening, and his situation will be reevaluated at the end of the year.
"Due to Coach Jones' continued health concerns, we believe it is in his best interest to take a break from baseball and continue his treatments at this time," Dr. Greg Stewart said.
Dickson has named current Tulane assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, Jake Gautreau, as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
"Coach Jones has been a stalwart to both Tulane University and to college baseball throughout his storied career, but right now his health is the top priority," Dickson said. "I hope everyone will respect Coach's privacy during his recovery and we wish him the best.
"In the meantime, I am confident in Coach Gautreau's ability to lead our program in the interim and I believe this team will rally around Coach Gautreau and this coaching staff. I encourage our fans to support this team and our student-athletes."
Jones has not been in the dugout for Tulane since March 19, when the Green Wave travelled across town to play New Orleans. Jones has missed weekend series against Middle Tennessee, Marshall and UTSA, while also missing mid-week games against LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette.
In 21 years at Tulane, Jones has compiled a record of 818-445-2, making him not only the longest-tenured baseball coach in Tulane history, but also the winningest. Jones has taken the Green Wave to 12 NCAA Regional appearances, three NCAA Super Regional s and the program's only two appearances in the College World Series in 2001 and 2005.
In his career, Jones owns a record of 1,094-538-3, having made head coaching stops at Ferrum and Elon prior to joining Tulane in 1994.
Gautreau has been on the coaching staff at Tulane since the 2010 season, and was named the recruiting coordinator in Sept. 2011. The McAllen, Texas, native has worked with the Tulane hitters since his arrival, and was recently named an "Assistant Ready to Lead" by Perfect Game USA.
Gautreau was a three-year starter at third base for the Green Wave baseball team from 1999-2001. During his stellar career, he helped the team to a combined record of 142-50-1, claim the 2001 Conference USA regular-season championship, a pair of C-USA Tournament titles, three trips to the NCAA Regionals and a berth in the 2001 College World Series.
Gautreau earned first-team Freshman All-America honors from Baseball America in 1999, and claimed second-team All-America accolades by the American Baseball Coaches Association and third-team All-America by Collegiate Baseball in 2000. He received first-team All-America recognition by the ABCA, Baseball America, Baseball Weekly and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers and second-team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball in 2001. He was a Golden Spikes finalist as a junior when he led the nation in RBI (96) while hitting .355 with 23 doubles and 21 homers in 69 games.
Gautreau picked up C-USA All-Freshman Team honors as a rookie in 1999 before claiming first-team All C-USA and C-USA Player of the Year honors in both 2000 and 2001, and was selected as the Conference USA Player of the Decade in 2005.
He was drafted in the first round (14th overall) of the 2001 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the San Diego Padres, and was named to International League Midseason All-Star Team in 2005. Gautreau was the starting second baseman for the New Orleans Zephyrs (Triple-A Affiliate of the New York Mets) in 2007.
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