D’nara Jones joined the UNM Track & Field coaching staff in July of 2023. With the Lobos, Jones assists with coaching sprinting and jumping events.
In her first year at Illinois State during the 2023 Indoor & Outdoor seasons, athletes coached by Jones produced a total of 50 PRs, 15 MVC Conference Top-10 performances, 6 All-Time Top-10 ISU performances and two school records.
During the 2023 Outdoor season, Jones led a total of 24 personal-best, including four All-Time history performances and two School History performances. Jones led Danielle Taets to a MVC Outdoor Conference third place finish in the Triple Jump, coached Madison Saunders to a MVC Outdoor Conference Runner up in the Triple Jump and Women’s NCAA West Region Qualifier for third-leg in the 4x100m Relay. Jones also led Melissa Parrella to a Women’s NCAA West Region Qualifier in the Long Jump and 17th place finish overall.
During the 2023 Indoor season, Jones led a total of 26 personal-best and including two All-Time school record performances. This included coaching Melissa Parrella to a MVC Indoor Conference Runner up finish in the Long Jump, Madison Saunders to a MVC Conference Indoor Runner up in the Triple Jump, and Danielle Taets to a third place finish in the Triple Jump. Under Coach Jones’ guidance, Leslie Fisher secured MVC Indoor Conference third place finish in the Triple Jump.
Prior to joining the Redbird coaching staff, Jones spent a season at Loyola-Chicago in charge of coaching the Ramblers’ sprinters and jumpers.
In her one-year stint at Loyola, Jones’ student-athletes totaled three school records, eight all-time top-10 school performances and 63 personal bests across the indoor and outdoor campaigns.
During the 2022 outdoor season, Jones guided long jumper Melissa Parrella to an MVC title in the long jump, becoming Loyola’s first women’s long jump champion since 2017. Parrella went on to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Championships, where she finished 38th in the West Region. In addition, Jones coached the MVC runners-up in the indoor triple jump and 100m hurdles.
From 2019 to 2021, Jones served as an assistant coach at Saint Louis University, where she led the Billikens’ sprinters and hurdlers. In her time as a coach at Saint Louis, Jones’ student-athletes set 16 school records and achieved 37 personal bests. She led a trio of Billiken student-athletes to All-Atlantic 10 honors in the 60m hurdles, indoor 400m dash and 100m dash.
A Tacoma, Washington native, Jones spent time as a student-athlete at both Portland State and the University of Alabama. She still ranks ninth in school history in both the indoor and outdoor triple jump at Portland State.
Jones earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Environmental Sciences from Alabama in 2016 before completing her master’s degree in Leadership & Organizational Development while coaching at Saint Louis.
Before entering the coaching world, Jones spent two years as a social worker and child protective services investigator in both Texas and Arizona.