COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kathleen Jones, a redshirt freshman on the Ohio State women’s tennis team from Lewis Center, Ohio, always knew she wanted to become a Buckeye. Her parents, Arnie and Julie, are both Ohio State alumni.
Arnie was also a Buckeye student-athlete. He was a member of the football team from 1971-74, a three-year starter at linebacker and served as team captain in 1974. Among his highlights was a 24-tackle game vs. the Wolverines in 1972, a total that still ranks tied for fourth in a single game in Ohio State history. Julie earned her undergraduate degree at OSU and then graduated from the Ohio State College of Medicine.
Jones, who attended Olentangy High School, grew up spending her fall weekends either at Ohio State football games or watching the Buckeyes play on television. Her favorite story to hear from her mom is the story of when Julie knew she belonged at OSU. Julie, who is now an OBGYN in Columbus, was touring and walked on The Oval for the first time in between classes while students were milling about and walking every possible way on the sidewalks. That story has resonated with Jones to this day, helping explaining what being a Buckeye is all about. As Jones began to apply for colleges, she knew Ohio State was the only fit for her and being able to play on the tennis team has been “an absolute dream come true.”
As an Ohio State student-athlete, Jones has been able to connect and relate with her father more, as well. While she was growing up, Arnie was tough on her but she realizes it came from the intensity and dedication he developed from playing football. Jones goes to her father whenever she needs advice on how to manage her time between athletics and tennis because he has been there.
“It is nice to share that with him and to know that one of my biggest role models fully understands the stress of it all,” Jones said. “Hearing the way he talks about the impact his coach, Woody Hayes, has made on him and how he’s still great friends with his teammates from the ’70s makes me hopeful I’ll have the same outcome when I’m older.”
Jones is looking forward most to playing Michigan this season, especially since the match is at home. She is excited about the energy the team is going to be able to generate from the crowd’s support in Columbus. The Buckeyes, who have made six straight NCAA appearances, host the Wolverines March 15 … admission is free!
The 1974 Buckeye Football Team