Kianna Jones, bench coach for the Coastal Plain League’s Macon Bacon, will serve as the Bacon’s head coach tonight in its game against the Forest City Owls; making history for Jones as the first ever female head coach not only in the CPL but in summer collegiate baseball history.
“We want to congratulate Kianna on this milestone,” said Coastal Plain League Commissioner Justin Sellers. “We believe women do have a place in baseball and we are proud to be an ally in seeing that more do. Kianna has earned this opportunity and will no doubt be an inspiration for the next generation of our future!”
Jones has been with the club since Opening Day last week. Macon’s usual skipper, Kevin Soine, was not able to make the trip due to a medical issue, making way for Jones to make history.
“It’s been fantastic working with the Bacon this summer,” said Jones. “I’ve watched the sport since I was a kid – my brother and father both played it – but I never really saw many females so being a softball player, I thought it would be good to transition into coaching one day. Last year, I met and got to listen to Kayla Baptista, who was the first female assistant coach in the Cape Cod League and Rachel Balkovec ( the first woman to manage a MLB affiliated team). I learned a lot from listening and speaking with both Kayla and Rachel, especially that women can have a place in baseball. Now, my main goal is to help the players [I work with] become the best that they can be, but also to inspire the next generation of female players and coaches go on and accomplish their goals.”
A softball player for the University of North Carolina, Jones recently completed her first season at for the Tar Heels after playing for two seasons at Minnesota. The versatile redshirt sophomore played as both a pitcher and a utility player through 50 starts in the spring. Overall, she batted .272 with 37 hits, including seven homers to go with 28 RBIs and 14 runs scored.
The Coastal Plain League has been an advocate for breaking down the barriers for women in baseball, having not only witnessed several women owners, general managers (and assistant general managers) as well as league office staff over the years; but also having had female broadcasters (Victoria Conway, Edenton ’19 & Julia Kennedy, Lexington County ’21) and even the league’s first ever female umpire in 2019. Greta Langhenry served as a league umpire in 2019 through the CPL’s then-partnership with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development. Langhenry is now an Umpire Operations Administrator for Major League Baseball.
About Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League, brought to you by FloSports, is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Entering its 26th season in 2022, the CPL features 14 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,700 alumni drafted and 155 alums make their Major League debut – including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok @CPLBaseball.