Appalachian State co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach Dale Jones throws a ball as the Mountaineers warm up for their game against Louisiana on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 in Boone, N.C. (Journal Photo by Andrew Dye) 20181021w_spt_appstatefootball

After one year away, Dale Jones is officially back in Boone.

The former Appalachian State coach has returned to the Mountaineers program in a move announced on Wednesday. Jones will be the defensive coordinator for Shawn Clark, who is in the process of assembling his first staff as a head coach. The Cardinals 

Jones was at App State for 23 seasons (from 1996 to 2018) before following former Mountaineers head coach Scott Satterfield to Louisville for the 2019 season. The Cardinals went 8-5 and won the Music City Bowl against Mississippi State in Satterfield's first year.

"I'm thrilled to be back at App State where I've spent 23 of the last 24 years," Jones said through a school-issued press release. "I love the culture of App State and love this community. I can't wait to help build a great staff, hit the recruiting trail and continue to bring my aggressive style of play to the field."

During his time with Appalachian, Jones has served as both defensive coordinator (2010 to 2012) and co-defensive coordinator (with former D.C. Bryan Brown in 2018). He coached defensive line and linebackers during that span, with a stint at special teams as well.

But Jones has spent the last six seasons (one at Louisville and five at App State) overseeing inside linebackers. 

Jones is a welcomed addition back to a defensive staff that will have no holdovers from the 2019 staff. He is the second defensive staffer announced by Clark so far. The first was James Rowe, who spent the last three seasons as a assistant defensive backs coach for the Washington Redskins. Rowe's hiring was announced last week.

"We're excited to welcome Dale, Heather, Brooke and Cooper back to where Dale's heart is here in the mountains of North Carolina," Clark said in the release. "He loves App State Football and knows what it takes to win championships here. Under his leadership, we will continue to develop a championship-level defense that has been one of the hallmarks of this program."

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