Jones was a two-time state finalist for Ann Arbor Huron, placing 2nd in 1984 and 1st in 1985, and compiling a prep record of 111-6. He placed three times in freestyle at Junior Nationals - 5th in '83, 3rd in '84, and 4th in '85. In 1985, he was named to the WrestlingUSA Dream Team.
Collegiately, he qualified for the NCAA Championships four times, earning three All-American trophies for Arizona State. He was 6th, 4th, and 2nd in his final three trips, respectively. As a sophomore helped lead ASU to a team title. A three-time PAC-10 Champ, Jones' collegiate record was 134-21-3, the fourth-most wins in Sun Devil history.
Though he made two senior-level teams while still in college (1989-7th, 1990-4th), Jones' first medal at the World Championships was gold, in 1991. There he defeated 4x World Champion (at the time - he'd go on to win eight) Valentin Jordanov of Bulgaria in the finals. A year later, Jones became an Olympic silver medalist at the Barcelona Games. He made World teams the following three years, winning bronze in 1995, before finishing 3rd at the '96 Olympic Trials. In 1997, Jones competed at his eighth, and final, World Championships. During his years competing, FILA bestowed the title of "World's Most Technical Wrestler" onto Jones.
Following his competitive career, Jones served as an Olympic Team coach in 2004, 2008, and 2012. He also served as an assistant at West Virginia, Arizona State, and Bloomsburg before becoming Head Coach at Penn, where he served from 2005-07. In 2015, he returned to Arizona State, where he currently is the Head Coach.
Jackson was a two-time state champion for Lansing Eastern as a high schooler. He was 4th in freestyle at the 1981 Junior Nationals and was 3rd the next year in freestyle, also winning the Greco portion. WrestlingUSA named him an All-American as a senior in 1982.
His college career began at LSU where he was a 3x All-American for the Tigers, placing 3rd, 3rd, and 7th at NCAA's. After LSU dropped their program, Jackson moved on to Iowa State, where he was an NCAA runner-up as a senior in 1987.
From there, Jackson would go on to have one of the most successful freestyle careers in US history. He won the US Open three times and was runner-up five times. From 1991-1995, he represented the US at each World and Olympic event, winning World titles in 1991 and 1995, and adding an Olympic Gold at the '92 Games. He is one of five Americans to win three World/Olympic titles. A four-time World Cup gold medalist and two-time Pan-Ams gold medalist, Jackson was also an Olympic alternate in 1996.
Jackson went on to serve as the National Freestyle Coach for USA Wrestling from 2001-2008. Following his stint there, he returned to his alma mater, leading the Cyclones from 2009-2017. In 2017, Jackson was named National Freestyle Development Coach, where he currently works with USAW's elite age-level competitors and oversees the Elite Accelerated Program, in addition to working with the Senior-level team.