Darryl Jones Born: 11/17/45 (St. Louis, Mo.)
Graduated: Benedictine College, 1968
There are a lot of famous names that have entered the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, but not many of them can claim they have played on a national championship team. Former Benedictine College basketball’s Darryl Jones is one of those people though, as he was part of the 1967 team that took home the NAIA National Championship, defeating Oklahoma Baptist 71-65.
But the St. Louis native ended up at Benedictine College – also known as St. Benedict’s – by pure chance. During his senior year of high school, an assistant coach from St. Benedict’s was in St. Louis on a scouting trip for a different player, but upon watching Jones play, he was immediately impressed.
“I’d just played the worst game of my life,” Jones said. “And I didn’t want to talk to him, I was embarrassed to, but my coach made me.”
Jones had also been offered a full-ride scholarship at St. Louis University, but he wanted to play all four years of college, so instead accepted the offer from St. Benedict’s. Jones describes his decision to commit to St. Benedict as the “best decision I ever made,” but his decision to switch from the bustling city of St. Louis to the quiet city of Atchison, Kansas, may have been one of the best decisions in the history of St. Benedict’s basketball, too.
Jones played a massive part in the 1967 championship team, averaging 12.4 rebounds per game through five games, including some massive performances along the way. Most notably, Jones lead the Ravens past St. Mary’s University of San Antonio with 25 points and nine assists, with his team ultimately winning 88-73. In the same game, Jones kept a tight clamp on St. Mary’s star player Doug Williams, allowing St. Benedict’s to run away with the game.
In the semifinal against Morris Harvey, Jones pulled down an incredible 20 boards as the Ravens won 73-70, which was then followed by a fourteen-point, fourteen rebound, and eight assist performance in the championship game against Oklahoma Baptist.
During his four years as a Raven, Jones was named an All-American all four years. He has since been recognized as one of the members of the 1967 St. Benedict all-star team, which is composed of players who competed on the 1967 championship team. He also finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in rebounds, assists and games played, as well the second-most points in program history.
But it’s not just Jones’ contributions on the court that have earned him a spot in the KSHOF. Jones has shown near-unparalleled dedication to his alma mater since graduating, holding several positions since graduation including Benedictine College assistant director of development and positions of assistant basketball and football coach in the 1970’s.
He was also awarded the Cross of the Order of St. Benedict in 2010, an award which recognizes alumni who demonstrated professional excellence and provided civic or religious leadership, among other criteria.
“I think we all know Benedictine is a special place,” Jones said during his acceptance speech in 2010. “Everything you’ve heard about me tonight is true, and I made a conscious decision to work hard and change my life. Everything I have accomplished, all of my success, I owe to the experiences and the education I got at Benedictine.”
To this day, Jones remains on the St. Benedict College Board of Directors.
Jones’ induction will be his third hall of fame induction, as he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1982, as well as the Benedictine Hall of Fame in 1988.