Interview with Chris Jones, Temple University, Assistant AD/Major Gifts
Since its establishment in 1998, the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation has awarded over 100 postgraduate scholarships, making a profound impact on the landscape of athletics administration and the lives of young men and women. To showcase the achievements of past John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship recipients, the Foundation presents
“Where Are They Now?”
Chris Jones received the McLendon Scholarship im 2013. A native of Goldsboro, N.C., he earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and his master’s degree in athletics administration from North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Jones is also an alumnus of the Dr. Charles Whitcomb Leadership Institute, formally known as the NCAA Leadership Institute (2018).
Jones, who has over seven years of athletics development experience at the collegiate level, was named Temple University’s assistant athletics director for major gifts in October 2018.
How has the John McLendon Scholarship impacted your career?
I can vividly recall my last year in graduate school serving as a graduate assistant and applying for the scholarship. I hadn’t been a member of NAADD long, but I was familiar with John McLendon. The gymnasium, and where I worked, was named McLendon-McDougal Arena. I was well aware of the trailblazer that John McLendon was to the game of basketball and his connection to North Carolina Central University.
Furthermore, I knew it would be an honor to be associated with an award named by such a legend in our profession. I’m forever grateful to the John McLendon Foundation for the scholarship, which put me in a position to successfully finish my degree and become employed full-time in intercollegiate athletics.
Why did you pursue a career in athletics administration?
I have always had a passion for people, serving others as well as athletics. In graduate school I was introduced to athletics development, and I quickly realized that was a way for me to marry a few of my passions, people and athletics.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is that every day I have the opportunity to build and cultivate relationships with individuals that have a vested interest in the mission of the university, the department of athletics and a strong desire to enhance the experiences of our student-athletes via their philanthropic efforts. Serving as one of the vessels on a greatteam to make that happen is indeed a rewarding feeling.
What career advice would you give your younger self?
Exude patience and understand that a career in athletics administration is a marathon as opposed to a sprint. In doing so, take the time to truly learn what you’re doing and hone your skills. Have tunnel vision from the standpoint of not worrying about how others are progressing. Everyone’s journey is different. Focus on ways for you to get better and expand your skill set. Soak up all you can along the way and develop sincere, meaningful relationships with people in the business.