LAKE FOREST, IL – Chicago Bears Director of Physical Development Rusty Jones is retiring after 28 NFL seasons. Jones spent the last eight seasons with the Bears (2005-12) after 20 years with Buffalo Bills (1985-2004).
During his career, Jones saw his teams make the playoffs 13 times, including five Super Bowl appearances, while working with 43 different Pro Bowlers and seven current Hall of Famers (Players: Joe DeLamielleure, Jim Kelly, James Lofton, Bruce Smith and Thurman Thomas; Head Coach: Marv Levy; Owner: Ralph Wilson, Jr.).
Known around the NFL as one of the finest strength, conditioning and nutrition experts in the business, Jones was named 2006 National Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society in February of 2007. The award recognized his proficiency at enacting his renowned conditioning and nutrition program upon his arrival in Chicago. Jones created a nutritional and workout programs specifically designed for each Bears player to maximize performance while maintaining year-round health. He saw the principles of his program wholeheartedly adopted by the players throughout his tenure.
During his time with the Bears, Chicago earned three division titles, made two NFC Championship game appearances and won the NFC Crown in 2006. Jones worked with 18 Pro Bowlers over eight seasons in Chicago.
Before joining the Bears, he spent 20 seasons in Buffalo after being hired in June of 1985. He spent 19 years as the Bills strength and conditioning coordinator before being promoted to director of physical development/assistant to the head coach prior to the 2004 season.
During his tenure in Buffalo, Jones worked under six head coaches including Levy and worked with over 25 different Pro Bowlers. The Bills qualified for the playoffs in 10 of Jones' 20 seasons with the team, including four consecutive Super Bowl appearances from 1990-93. He gained league-wide notoriety for getting Buffalo's players in top physical condition while the Bills enjoyed success running the "no-huddle" offense in the early 1990's. Prior to joining the Bills in June of 1985, Jones spent two years as the conditioning supervisor for the DeBartolo Corporation, working in Pittsburgh with the Penguins, Spirit and Maulers (1983-84).
Jones earned a physical education degree from Springfield (Mass.) College and taught for two years at Dover High School in New Hampshire. The native of Berwick, Maine and Noble High School returned to Springfield to earn a master's degree in exercise physiology (1979-82), serving as a graduate assistant with the football program during that time.
Jones and his wife, Sharon, have one son, Tyler. Sharon is a professional singer who performed the national anthem before one Bears game in 2006 after doing so many times in Buffalo.
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