Jones was successful
Former two-stint Plaquemine High football coach Don Jones finished his career among the very top tier of victorious prep grid mentors.
Jones reached the top of the ranks in 2012 when he closed out as a head coach by leaping over the rare plateau of 200 victories. Before joining as an assistant at Morgan City in 2013, Jones’ various prep football clubs netted 233 victories under his guidance.
Recently he was selected for induction later this year in the La. High School Coaches Hall of Fame.
Head coaching at eight different high schools from the northern reaches of the state to lower Mississippi River cities Plaquemine, Baton Rouge, and Crowley. He also joined a pair of PHS standouts Brian Mitchell and Brian Williams at La. Lafayette (then USL) and was an assistant Ragin' Cajun coach for seven years. He helped hone the skills of Mitchell, who ended up holding a record for running touchdowns made by a quarterback until broken in recent years. Mitchell went on to a long NFL career as a hybrid kick returner/running back/occasional quarterback. He is in the top five of career all-purpose yards gained.
Mitchell had great skills and competitiveness, no doubt, but Jones was an influence in his growth into a skill professional.
Jones left USL and coached at Crowley and then at Winnfield before returning for a second stint of over a half decade at Plaquemine.
It was at Winnfield that Jones mentored another NFL standout named Anthony Thomas, who played at Michigan and for the Chicago Bears in the NFL, where he was the starting running back on both levels and joined the La. Sports Hall of Fame last summer.
During his first stint as the Green Devil grid guru, Jones was named District Coach of the Year consecutively twice (1979-80, 1984-85). He was named a district COY eight other times at different schools. The former PHS mentor was also influential in coaching associations; he served as president of the La. HS Coaches Assn. in 2002, and was an executive committee member as well.
Looking back, Jones noted: “Coaching student athletes is one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences. A student athlete can learn about every aspect of life by being both athlete and student.”
I agree with coach about that statement. After years of covering prep sports in the parish, I watched young athletes grow through both victory and defeat on sporting fields. Talk about a learning experience. Many believe one grows stronger, and can only find success, through failure and revival of spirit to try, try again. Sports are an enjoyable way to grow stronger in body and mind.
Coach: Relish in your upcoming Hall induction.
A total of four former LSU Tiger standouts will be on the field Sunday in the NFL Championship Super Bowl Game.
Most notable are starting rookie middle linebacker Deion Jones and starting defensive back Jalen Collins for the Atlanta Falcons. Making it a trio of former Tigers on the Falcons’ team is defensive end Tyson Jackson (who played local prep ball at West St. John High against parish teams).
The New England Patriots have only one former Tiger in defensive end Barkevious Mingo.