The Cowboys beat the Sun Devils 45-3 that day and went 10-2 in 1984. Suddenly, Jones' photo was in the New York Times and Sports Illustrated was coming to Stillwater to do a piece on the Cowboys.
“It was like a rocket ship,” Jones said. “It was all a blur. Until well after the fact, it was still a blur. That was happening really fast on a national scale. “
Jones led OSU to its first three 10-win seasons and a trio of bowl victories during his 11-year tenure as head coach. But after the program was put on probation for recruiting violations following the 1988 season, the Cowboys never won more than four games with Jones as the coach. He left in 1994 to become an assistant with the Miami Dolphins.
But before leaving for the NFL, Jones hired Gundy as an offensive assistant. Gundy's maturity, personality and football intelligence made Jones believe he would someday become a head coach. Jones later urged Gundy to go outside of Stillwater, which he did when he took assistant jobs at Baylor and Maryland.
Now, Jones is watching his former pupil take OSU to unprecedented heights. The Cowboys have won 41 games over the past four years and captured their first Big 12 championship and BCS bowl win in 2011. For those efforts, Gundy was named the Eddie Robinson and Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year this past season.
With all of Jones' accomplishments in a career worthy of being inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, following Gundy's immense success — something Jones himself helped put into motion — has been gratifying.
“That part of it, in all honestly, is pretty rewarding,” Jones said.