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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 76 times as much as five-fold in the 20 years since. But Jones was one of the first, a pioneer. "It's funny because there's a couple of us when we get together at the conventions in May and we sit around and laugh, about what we've gone through and how it has evolved," she said. "It's fun. It's fun to see up-and-comers who get to do this. It's very, very rare that you're going to see someone who has been in the business as long as I have. This is going on 15-16 years, especially on the foot- ball side. That's money-driven. When the head football coach goes, everybody goes. Longevity in this business is difficult." Jones still maintains a hands-on approach, particularly with women's basketball. In the summer, after her June arrival on campus, she set off to determine an exact plan for each of the members of Sharon Versyp's team. That involved group workouts at the start, but then was broken down into more individualized programs. Dominique Oden wanted to get quicker. "She's respecting that we want to be fast in basketball, we want to get from place to place," Oden said. "We want to be able to keep on our feet. Us benching like football players isn't helpful. She's adjusted for that. And for the running, it's more basketball specific, so that's getting up and down. It's really helpful, because even though it's tir- ing, I'm really in shape now. She's getting at us, saying, 'You need to be more explosive.'" Versyp likes the early results she's seen, but also knows that Jones' track record speaks for itself. When Jones took the job at Purdue, Blair called Versyp, Versyp said, trying to keep his longtime strength coach. "Everybody raved about her," Versyp said. "You're hear- ing a lot, so who wouldn't be excited? You're getting some- one with that expertise and it's just for women's basketball. "She's getting to know the players to see what makes them tick and it's great that she's sending them the same messages that we are. Building relationships, so the kids can talk about their bodies and how to get better, you need to have that. That's something she does well and (has) done so with basketball. It's been a big boost." Although Jones has taken on administrative duties, handling a department of 17 sports, she wants to stay involved with one, enjoying the day-to-day relationships. "I like being in there," Jones said. "… My coaching style has changed a bit over the years. When I first started out, I would get out there and work out with the kids and show that I can do what they're doing and use that as motiva- tion. So now, I stand back a little bit and do a little bit more coaching, so that aspect has changed a little bit, but I still love it. I love the interaction and love being involved in col- lege athletics. You see kids when they come in as a fresh- man and the transformation that a takes place over those four years, it's amazing when they leave. They're grown adults, ready to take on the world." j Tune In To Keep Up

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