Behind the Badge with Chief Deputy Allen Jones

By Anthony Antoine |

Published 05/05 2014 06:28PM

Updated 06/16 2015 03:01PM

CHAMPAIGN -- From the squad car to the dugout, this deputy is a role model in more ways than one. Allen Jones has 24 years in law enforcement. When he's not at work, he's mixing valuable life lessons with strong baseball fundamentals.

His goal is to make sure his players knock it out the park, on and off the field. Meet Chief Deputy Allen Jones the man Behind the Badge.

His players call him Coach Jones. At work he's Chief Deputy Allen Jones of the Champaign County Sheriff's Department.

"It's interesting from my job to here. When I approached the sheriff about this and asked permission to do this he was like absolutely," says Jones.

It's a commitment; one he says is worth it.

"Being able to be out here with these kids and to watch them grow and laugh with them every now and then, it's an extreme release for me," says Jones.

When faced with tough decisions, a coach turns to his assistant for advice. For that, Allen Jones turns to none other than retired Rantoul Police Chief Allen Jones, Sr., his father.

Baseball has been a tradition in the Jones family for a long time.

"To watch him advance his career, the way he's advanced his career, start off in the jail and now he's chief deputy, it kind of makes your buttons pop and makes you feel proud," says Allen Jones, Sr.

Allen Jones, Sr., spent years teaching his son how to play baseball, and he's happy to see that tradition continues.

"What did Yogi Berra used to say, 'It's like déjà vu all over again.'"

Yogi Berra was a catcher, and the catcher calling the plays for Rantoul High School? That's J.T. Jones, the coach's son.

"This is my first time having him as a coach. He's all about fundamentals. That's his main priority," says J.T. Jones.

Fundamentals the kids can take with them long after baseball is over.

Chief Deputy Jones says, "The game I like to teach is talking about coping. Be successful in dealing with it. If you strike out, the easiest thing to do is throw your helmet down and pound your bat or blame somebody else instead of saying, 'You know what? I gave the best I could.' As long as they do and get off the field and move on."

You might hit a home run or even strike out, but there's a lesson in everything.

"Here's what I tell them. You don't learn very well from success, but you get your greatest learning opportunity from some of your failures."

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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