By D. FORREST CAMERON
Editor and Publisher
ON THE AIR: Pat Jones at his microphone in the 97.1 Sports Animal studio, located high atop the CityPlex Tower.
GTR Newspapers photo
Talkative Pat Jones remains in the limelight, though not as a visible college or professional football coach. Instead, Jones has established himself as one of the top radio and television sports broadcasters in the region.
Jones, who now resides in Tulsa, co-hosts the “Middle of the Day” show with popular sportscaster Al Jerkens on 97.1 FM, The Sports Animal, from noon to 2 p.m. (Jerkins begins the show at 11 a.m.) The show simulcasts on AM 1550, which also can be heard in the Tulsa area.
Jones has been best known in the greater Tulsa area as the head coach of the Oklahoma State University Cowboys football team from 1984 through 1994, finishing with a winning record of 62-60-3 and mentoring football greats Thurman Thomas and 1988 Heisman winner Barry Sanders. Jones sent his team to four bowl games, winning three.
He was always talkative and accommodating to the media during his coaching days. Now, he says he is a “happy member of the media,” adding, “I’m really enjoying doing the radio show.” He obviously has very good communication skills, saying, “I’ve always been interested in communicating. There’s a lot of responsibility behind the mike. You must be accurate. I don’t like hollering and yelling.”
Instead, Jones entertains his audiences with inside sports news and interesting anecdotes of a career that has seen him coach at Arkansas, SMU and Pittsburgh as well as OSU.
Jones was an assistant coach in the National Football League with the Miami Dolphins from 1996-2003 and Oakland Raiders from 2004-2006.
The show on the Sports Animal is always interesting and features guests to join Jones and Jerkens throughout the week. The usual lineup of guests includes Channel 8 Sports Director Chris Lincoln on Tuesdays, and Tulsa World sports writers Dave Sittler on Wednesdays, Bill Haisten on Thursdays and Jimmie Tramel on Fridays.
Jones stays busy with his broadcasting, doing morning shows in Oklahoma City from his home in Tulsa. During football season, he treks to Dallas where he appears on a Fox Southwest television show with Jackie Sherrill. He and Sherrill worked on the same staff at the University of Pittsburgh and remain close friends.
Jones also has written a popular book with Jimmie Tramel titled, “Pat Jones’ Tales from the Oklahoma State Sidelines.”
The book describes the Cowboy years of Sanders and Thomas and includes Jones’ recollections and insight into his OSU coaching career. It is currently available at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore at the 71st Street location in Tulsa.
Jones says that he is very happy living in Tulsa. He was raised in Little Rock and attended Arkansas Tech where he played linebacker and nose guard before transferring to Arkansas. While at Arkansas, he says he and his buddies would come to Tulsa for entertainment.
He says,”I have followed all of the teams in this area almost all my life. I enjoy watching them and keeping up with them and communicating the information I have about them to my radio listeners.”
His radio listeners appreciate the information.